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The complete blood count (CBC) is the most common blood test. It analyzes the three major types of cells in blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC counts these cells, measures hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells), estimates the red cells' volume, and sorts the white blood cells into five subtypes if a CBC with differential is ordered.
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Anemia: A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.
Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying protein of the blood found in red blood cells.
Red Blood Cell: Any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of blood.
White Blood Cell: (WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.