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- Erythrocyte Count
Expected Turnaround Time
Within 1 day
Turnaround time is defined as the usual number of days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to when the result is released to the ordering provider. In some cases, additional time should be allowed for additional confirmatory or additional reflex tests. Testing schedules may vary.
Tube fill capacity
0.5 mL (500 μL for pediatric microtainer capillary tubes; fill tube to capacity.)
Lavender-top (EDTA) tube
Invert tube immediately 8 to 10 times once tube is filled at time of collection.
Maintain specimen at room temperature.
Causes for Rejection
Hemolysis; clotted specimen; tube not filled with minimum volume; improper labeling; transport tubes with whole blood; specimen drawn in any anticoagulant other than EDTA; specimen diluted or contaminated with IV fluid; specimen received with plasma removed
Evaluate anemia and loss of red cells and suspected polycythemic condition
Presence of cold agglutinins may result in falsely low RBC counts.
Automated cell counter
Decrease in RBC count may be the result of red cell loss by bleeding or hemolysis (intravascular or extravascular), failure of marrow production (due to a broad variety of causes), or may be secondary to dilutional factors (eg, intravenous fluids). Increase in RBC count may be the result of primary polycythemia (polycythemia vera) or secondary polycythemia (hypoxemia of lung or cardiovascular disease, increased erythropoietin production associated with renal cyst, renal cell carcinoma, cerebellar hemangioblastoma, or high O2 affinity hemoglobinopathy) including stress polycythemia (hemoconcentration associated with exercise, exertion, fright, etc).
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