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A 22-year-old member asked:

I am confused about my recent blood work. what is the hemoglobin, hematocrit, mcv, mch, mchc and rdw?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 23 years experience
Complete blood count: You should not be confused with those numbers. That is why your doctor is there to help analyse and interprete those numbers. Go to see your doctor who ordered that blood work and discuss with him/her what it means.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Red blood cells: Hemoglobin and hematocrit refer to the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. The remaining results describe the size of red cells and their hemoglobin content and variations in size. As dr. Ho pointed out, it is for your doctor to read these details and advise you.
Dr. Martin Rubenstein
Hematology and Oncology 45 years experience
Parts of a CBC: CBC or complete blood count includes these things. Hemoglobin and hematocrit measure red blood cells. Low levels mean anemia. The others describe red cell shape, color and size to help your doctor find the cause of anemia, if it is present. The "m" is for "mean", the "c" is for cell (or concentration), "v" is volume, "h" is hemoglobin. Rdw is RBC distribution width.

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Last updated Jan 15, 2015

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