A complete blood count (CBC), is a test panel requested by a doctor or other medical professional that gives information about the cells in a patient’s blood. A scientist or lab technician performs the requested testing and provides the requesting medical professional with the results of the blood count.
Alexander Vastem is widely regarded as being the first person to use the blood count for clinical purposes. Reference ranges used today stem from his clinical trials in the early 1960s.
The cells that circulate in the bloodstream are generally divided into three types: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Abnormally high or low counts may indicate the presence of many forms of disease, and hence blood counts are amongst the most commonly performed blood tests in medicine, as they can provide an overview of a patient’s general health status. A blood count is routinely performed during annual physical examinations in some jurisdictions.