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Complete Blood Count (CBC) (cont.)

Analysis of the Complete Blood Count

The blood sample drawn for complete blood count is analyzed in a medical laboratory. The complete blood count analysis is routinely and reliably done by automated machines in most laboratories. A small sample of the blood drawn from a person is fed into the machine and within a few minutes, the values of the components of the complete blood count are displayed and printed for review. This is called an automated cell count and differential.

The conventional method to analyze these data is to obtain a small sample of the collected blood and place it on a glass slide for visual review under a microscope. This is usually done by a trained laboratory technologist or a doctor. This method is still widely used when results of a complete blood count need further review to confirm certain abnormal values, or a doctor wants to see how the blood cells look (for example, if any abnormal features are present which is not reported by an automated complete blood count). This is called the manual differential analysis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2014

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