What is being tested?
The full blood count (FBC) is one of the most commonly requested tests and provides important information about the kinds and numbers of cells in the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Abnormalities in any of these types of cells can indicate the presence of important medical disorders.
Blood is composed of a variety of living cells that circulate through the heart, arteries and veins carrying nourishment, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat and oxygen to the body’s tissues. Blood contains three main components — red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets — suspended in fluid, called plasma. Red blood cells contain haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to all the tissues of the body. Among other functions, white blood cells are responsible for protecting the body from invasion by foreign substances such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. White blood cells also control the immune process. Platelets help the blood clotting process by plugging holes in broken blood vessels.
How is the sample collected for testing?
The FBC is performed on a blood sample taken by a needle placed in a vein in the arm or by a finger-prick (for children and adults) or heel-prick (for infants).
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
Why Get Tested?
Commonly requested as part of a general screen in a patient who is unwell to screen for a variety of disorders, such as anaemia and infection, inflammation nutritional status and bleeding.
When To Get Tested?
As determined by your doctor; there are many illnesses which will affect the full blood count (FBC) and the result may help to make a diagnosis.
A blood sample taken from a vein in the arm or a finger-prick or heel-prick (newborns)