The Full Blood Count (FBC) blood test, also known as a Complete Blood Count (CBC) or Haematology Profile, examines the components of blood, including red and white blood cells and platelets.
All blood cells are made in the bone marrow, the centre of large bones. Some medications or diseases can damage the bone marrow, which in turn can reduce the numbers of different types of red or white blood cells.
This Full Blood Count (FBC) provides important information about the type, number and appearance of cells in the blood, especially red blood cells (vital for carrying oxygen around the body), white blood cells (key to the body's immune system), and clotting cells (important for controlling and stopping bleeding). This is an important test for the diagnoses of anaemia which is caused by insufficient red blood cells or haemoglobin as assessing immune function.
This Full Blood Count (FBC) is for individuals who wish to establish the health of their blood. It is an important blood test for people who have symptoms of amaenia or who suspect a viral or bacterial infection.
The signs that you may have a low red blood cell count (known as anaemia) can include fatigue, weight loss, loss of sex drive, lack of appetite, moodiness, constipation, irregular heart rate and a sensation of being cold.
Symptoms of a low white blood cell count can include fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness.
Haemoglobin carries oxygen and gives the blood cell its red colour. This test measures the amount of haemoglobin in the blood and is a good measure of the blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.
A high haemoglobin result can mean increased red cell production to compensate for chronically low oxygen levels in the blood caused by living at altitude or lung disease. While it can also indictate "blood doping" other causes can include dehydration, smoking and bone marrow disorders.
A low haemoglobin result indicates anaemia which can have many causes including pregnancy, blood loss, liver damage, iron deficiency and much more. A low haemoglobin level would be investigated in line with other symptoms and results.
HCT (haemocrit) measures the amount of space (volume) red blood cells take up in the blood.
A high level can occur with pregnancy, living at altitude, dehydration as well as low availability of oxygen through chronic lung disease and even sleep apnea.
Low levels indicate anaemia.
Red Cell Count analyses the number of red cells in the blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. They also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs so that it can be exhaled.
A high count (thicker blood) means there is a chance that the red blood cells will clump together and block tiny blood vessels. This also makes it difficult for your red blood cells to carry oxygen,
A low count (anaemia) means that your body may not be getting the oxygen it needs and can be caused by nutritional deficiency (e.g. iron, folic acid, vitamin B12) over-hydration as well as bleeding and bone marrow disorders.
MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume) shows the size of red blood cells.
A high result may indicate a vitamin deficiency of folate or vitamin B12 and is often seen in alcohol excess associated with liver inflammation.
A low result indicates anaemia, often caused by iron deficiency.
MCH (Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin) is the amount of haemoglobin in an average red blood cell.
Together with MCV and MCHC values this can help in the diagnosis of diferent types of anaemia.
MCHC (mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration) is the concentration of haemoglobin in an average red blood cell.
A high level can indicate the presence of spherocytes (a type of red bood cell with too much haemoglobin) or a deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12 in the diet.
A low level can indicate chronic blood loss or too little iron.
RDW (Red Cell Distribution Width) shows whether the cells are all the same size or different sizes or shapes. Normally cells are fairly uniform, however a raised RDW indicates a greater variaton in cell size.
A raised RDW can indicate iron deficiency or vitamin B12 and Folic acid deficiency.
White blood cells are key to your body's immune or defense system. They fight infections and protect our body from foreign invaders such as harmful germs and bacteria.
A raised WBC can indicate recent infection, inflammation, trauma and even stress. Your WBC can also be raised as a result of taking certain medications.
A decreased WBC can result from a vitamin deficiency such as folate and vitamin B12, as well as liver disease and diseases of the immune system.
Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell which are responsible for helping your body fight infection. When neutrophils are low you can be more vulnerable to illness and infection.
Neutrophils can be raised after severe stress on the body from a bacterial infection, recent exercise or sudden kidney failure.
Low neutrophils can be casued by a deficiency in vitamin B12 and folic acid, severe bacterial infection and some autoimmune diseases.
Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell which fight bacterial and viral infections. They include T Cells, B Cells and Natural Killer Cells.
Lymphocytes can be raised for many reasons but it is common for them to be raised after recent infection, particularly after flu. They can also be raised due to autoimmune disorders and some cancers.
The most common cause for lymphocytes to be depleted is the common cold.
Monocytes are a type of white blood cell which engulf and remove pathogens and dead or damaged cells from our blood. The heat and swelling of inflammation is the result of the activites of these cells.
Elevated monocytes can indicate chronic inflammatory disease, chronic infection, parpasitic infection and cushings disease.
Low levels can be due to autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthiritis as well as drugs which affect the bone marrow such as chemotherapy.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell which have the function of removing parasitic infections as well as regulating inflammation to mark an infected site.
Levels of eosinophils can be elevated if the amount of inflammation is greater than necessary to control the damage (e.g. asthma and allergies) as well as parasitic and fungal infections, autoimmune diseases and skin disorders.
Low levels of eosinophils are not usually cause for concern and can be caused by the administration of steroids.
Basophils are a type of white blood cell which protects your body from bacteria and parasites such as ticks. They produce histamine and heparin and can respond incorrectly causing allergies, asthma and other inflammatory conditions.
An elevated basophil count can be due to inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's, ulcerative colitis and dermatitis, recent infection and hormone imbalance e.g. hypothyroidism.
A low basophil count can be caused by pregnancy, stress and use of steroids.
A blood film report is an examination of the shape, size and number of blood cells under the microscope. Oxygen is carried less effectively by red blood cells if they are of abnormal size or shape, and this can result in anaemia. Too many or too few white blood cells can signify a blood disorder and can affect your body's ability to fight infection.
Platelets or Clotting Cells are the smallest type of blood cell and are important in blood clotting. When bleeding occurs, the platelets swell, clump together and form a sticky plug which helps stop the bleeding.
If platelet levels are raised there is a risk of blood clots forming in blood vessels.
If platelet levels are too low there is a risk of easy bruising and uncontrolled bleeding.
MPV (Mean Platelet Volume) is a measurement of the average size of platelets. New platelets are larger and an increased MPV occurs when increased numbers of platelets are being produced. MPV provides an indication of platelet production in your bone marrow.
We will send you your Full Blood Count finger-prick blood test sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample collection or choose to go our London laboratory during the checkout process.
Your Full Blood Count test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.