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How is a patient's hematocrit and CBC related?

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Quick Answer

A hematocrit is part of a CBC, WebMD explains. A hematocrit determines how much space red blood cells take up in the blood, and a CBC is a complete blood count that delivers comprehensive information about the blood, including red and white blood cell counts and platelet count.

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Full Answer

A hematocrit is useful for detecting the proportion of red blood cells taken in the blood, which can reveal a deficit or excess of red blood cells, Healthline explains. A hematocrit is used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, including dehydration, leukemia, anemia and deficiencies in the patient’s diet. In addition to these conditions, the outcome of a hematocrit is influenced by pregnancy, having had a blood transfusion performed recently, or staying at a high-altitude location for prolonged periods. Less oxygen is available at higher altitudes, which increases hematocrit levels.

A complete blood count includes a number of tests and focuses in particular on assessing the count of a patient’s red and white blood cells and platelets, WebMD notes. Typically, a CBC also includes a test of mean platelet volume, hematocrit, various indices that provide information about the state of red blood cells, and a white blood cell differential. A CBC is useful for diagnosing a wide array of disorders, including infections and anemia.

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