What we test

Full blood count with differential

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.

The full blood count measures:

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.

Test instructions

Download and print your pathology form from your i-screen dashboard.

Take your form to one of our affiliated collection centres to have your sample taken - no need for an appointment.

You do not need to fast for this blood test.

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