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Glossary: complete blood count, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

complete blood count

(kum-PLEET blud kownt)

A test to check the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of blood. Also called blood cell count and CBC.

Complete blood count (CBC); left panel shows blood being drawn from a vein on the inside of the elbow using a tube attached to a syringe; right panel shows a laboratory test tube with blood cells separated into layers: plasma, white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells.

Complete blood count (CBC). Blood is collected by inserting a needle into a vein and allowing the blood to flow into a tube. The blood sample is sent to the laboratory and the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are counted. The CBC is used to test for, diagnose, and monitor many different conditions.

2007-10-29