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Complete blood count (CBC) blood test

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 1 minute read

Blood tests have many different uses. They can be used to diagnose a condition, to monitor a particular organ in the body, such as the kidney or liver, and they can also be used to give measurements of bodily processes such as blood sugar or current levels of inflammation.

Complete blood count

The complete blood count, or CBC, is one of the most commonly requested tests and provides information on the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Why is your doctor ordering it?

This would be a normal test to order for routine blood tests. Specifically, it will give your doctor information on your red blood cell levels (low red blood cell levels - low hemoglobin - is anemia), your platelets (which are used in clotting), and your white blood cells (which are part of your immune system and help fight infection and inflammation).

Are there any special requirements for the blood test?

You do not need to be fasting for this blood test. There are no special requirements. It can be taken like any normal blood test.

Remember to press hard for a good few minutes after removing the needle, and keep your elbow straight to prevent a nasty bruise!

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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