Complete Blood Count (CBC)

  • Medical Author:
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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How is the complete blood count test (CBC) done?

The complete blood count (CBC) test is performed by obtaining a few milliliters (one to two teaspoons) of blood sample directly form the patient. It can be done in many settings including the doctor's office, laboratories, and hospitals. The skin is wiped clean with an alcohol pad, and a needle is inserted through the area of cleansed skin into to patient's vein (one that can be visualized from the skin.) The blood is pulled from the needle by a syringe or by a connection to a special vacuumed vial where it is collected. This sample is taken to the laboratory for analysis. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 1/24/2014
References
Medically reviewed by Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, MBA, FAAFP; American Board of Family Medicine

REFERENCE:

National Institutes of Health
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003642.htm

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