The full blood count is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anaemia (decrease in red blood cells or haemoglobin), infection, and many other diseases. It is actually a group of tests that examine different parts of the blood. Results from the following tests provide the broadest picture of your health.
Responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. A high count can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, whilst a low count can mean your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs.
A good measure of your blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Elevated haemoglobin can be an indicator of lung disease, whilst a low result indicates anaemia.
A measure of the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume. Elevated haematocrit can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
MCV is a measure of the average size of the red blood cells. The MCV may be elevated in anaemia caused by vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. Whereas decreased MCV may be seen in iron deficiency anaemia for example.
MCH is a calculation of the average amount of oxygen-carrying haemoglobin inside a red blood cell. Large red blood cells tend to have a higher MCH, while small red cells would have a lower value.
MCHC is a calculation of the average concentration of haemoglobin inside a red cell. Decreased MCHC is seen in iron deficiency anaemia and conditions such as thalassaemia.
RDW is a calculation of the variation in the size of your red blood cells. A high RDW value may indicate the presence of certain medical conditions, such as anaemia, liver disease, or vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
Responsible for fighting infection. A high count can indicate recent infection and even stress, whilst a low count can result from vitamin deficiencies, liver disease and immune diseases.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to allergic disorders, inflammation of the skin and parasitic infections. They can also occur in response to some infections or to various bone marrow malignancies.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to infection as well as inflammatory disorders, and occasionally with some types of leukaemias. Decreased monocyte levels can indicate bone marrow injury or failure and some forms of leukaemia.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase with bacterial or viral infection, leukaemia, lymphoma, radiation therapy or acute illness. Decreased lymphocyte levels are common in later life but can also indicate steroid medication, stress, lupus and HIV infection.
A type of white blood cell. Can increase in response to bacterial infection, inflammatory disease, steroid medication, or more rarely leukaemia. Decreased neutrophil levels may be the result of severe infection or other conditions.
Responsible for blood clotting and healing. A high count can indicate a risk of thrombosis, whilst a low count can lead to easy bruising.
Lipids and cholesterol are fat-like substances in your blood. Some are necessary for good health, but when you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, a lot of it ends up being deposited in the walls of your arteries and other vital organs. Lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and alcohol intake can all influence cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.
Total cholesterol includes both HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for many processes in the body, including the formation of cell membranes, the production of hormones, and the metabolism of vitamin D.
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, as it can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries and can increase the risk of heart disease.
HDL cholesterol is often referred to as "good" cholesterol, as it helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and can protect against the development of heart disease.
Triglycerides are the main storage form of fatty acids in the body and a source of energy. High levels of triglycerides are associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Non-HDL cholesterol is considered an effective lipid measurement for assessing cardiovascular disease risk as it is believed to reflect levels of 'bad' cholesterol.
A blood test is used to find out the level of waste products in your blood and calculate what’s called your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
Sodium is important for maintaining fluid balance in the body and for proper nerve and muscle function.
Potassium is important for nerve and muscle function, including regulating heart rhythm, and is also involved in fluid balance.
Chloride is important for maintaining fluid balance and for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Higher than normal levels suggests trouble maintaining pH balance either by failing to remove carbon dioxide or because of an electrolyte imbalance. Elevations may be seen with severe vomiting, chronic lung problems and some hormonal disorders. Low levels may be seen with chronic diarrhoea, diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney failure.
A high concentration of this waste product can indicate dehydration or that your kidneys aren’t working properly.
A waste molecule generated from muscle metabolism, and an accurate marker of kidney function.
If too much urate is produced or not enough is excreted, it can accumulate and lead to gout – an inflammation that occurs in joints.
The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measures how well your kidneys filter the wastes from your blood and is the best overall measure of kidney function.
Your liver processes drugs and alcohol, filters toxic chemicals, stores vitamins and minerals, and makes bile, proteins and enzymes. This liver function test examines enzymes and other markers for evidence of damage to your liver cells or a blockage near your liver which can impair its function.
Bilirubin tests are use to screen for or to detect and monitor liver disorders or haemolytic anaemia.
Where the direct bilirubin is elevated, this can indicate some kind of blockage of the liver or bile duct.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme located mainly in the liver and the bones. High levels can indicate liver disease.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme created mainly by the liver and the heart. High levels can indicate damage to your liver caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme mainly produced by the liver. A good indicator of liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or hepatitis.
Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is a liver enzyme which can be used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is typically raised in long term drinkers.
Albumin is a protein which keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, nourishes tissues, and carries hormones, vitamins, drugs, and ions like calcium throughout the body. Low levels can indicate malnutrition or other health problems.
Any of a group of simple proteins found in the blood.
A measure of all of the proteins in the plasma portion of your blood. Proteins are important building blocks of all cells and tissues - they are important for body growth and health.
Blood glucose is generated from carbohydrates and to use this fuel for energy your body needs insulin. With type 2 diabetes the cells either ignore the insulin or the body doesn't produce enough of it. Glucose then builds up leading to problems with the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels.
If you have diabetes your body doesn't process glucose effectively.
LDH is an enzyme required during the process of turning sugar into energy for your cells. Only a small amount is usually detectable in the blood, however, when cells are damaged they release LDH into the bloodstream.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem in Australia. It slows your body’s production of haemoglobin, which your red blood cells need to pick up oxygen from your lungs and carry it to every cell in your body. If you have a shortage of iron you experience symptoms of anaemia, which include feeling breathless after little exercise, feeling tired, heart palpitations and looking pale.
An essential trace element is necessary for forming healthy red blood cells and for some enzymes.
A protein that binds iron and transports it around the body (also known as TIBC). High levels indicate iron deficiency.
Low levels typically indicate iron deficiency, and high levels can indicate iron overload.
Ferritin is a marker of iron stores in the body, and is used to assess iron status. Low levels can indicate iron deficiency, which is a common nutritional deficiency that can lead to anaemia, fatigue, and impaired immune function.
These bone health markers are part of a complex feedback loop that play a critical role in maintaining bone health. When you don’t get enough calcium, you increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and stress fractures.
Calcium is important in building strong bones and teeth, but it also plays a key role in other functions including muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and enzyme function.
Corrected calcium adjusts for changes in serum albumin levels, providing a more accurate measure of the biologically active form of calcium, and is therefore a better reflection of the body's calcium status.
Phosphate is a mineral which is essential for the formation of bones and teeth. It is also essential for many other cellular processes including energy metabolism and the formation of DNA and RNA.
Download and print your pathology form from your i-screen dashboard.
Fast from all food and drink (other than water) for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your blood test.
Take your form to one of our affiliated collection centres to have your sample taken.