Friday, December 8, 2017

PBS 3.1.1 Blood Detectives

Hematocrit  "CRIT"

 The hematocrit measures how much space in the blood is occupied by red blood cells. It is useful when evaluating a person for anemia. Blood drawn from a fingerstick is often used for hematocrit testing. The blood fills a small tube, which is then spun in a small centrifuge. As the tube spins, the red blood cells go to the bottom of the tube, the white blood cells cover the red in a thin layer called the buffy coat, and the liquid plasma rises to the top. The spun tube is examined for the line that divides the red cells from the buffy coat and plasma. The height of the red cell column is measured as a percent of the total blood column. The higher the column of red cells, the higher the hematocrit. The hematocrit test can also be done on an automated instrument as part of a complete blood count. It is also called Packed Red Cell Volume or Packed Cell Volume, or abbreviated as Hct or Crit. The test is covered by insurance when medically necessary. Results are usually available the same or following day.

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