Normal Hematocrit Levels- Low, High Hematocrit

Hematocrit is a part of the total volume of the blood of the body that composes the red blood cells. A  Complete Blood Count Test is conducted in order to determine if you either have low hematocrit or high hematocrit. Either of the two indicates that your body is experiencing a certain disease. The function of the red blood cells, or better known as erythrocytes, is they carry oxygen throughout the entire body.

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How is Hematocrit determined?

A medical technician is the one who will be conducting the hematocrit test personally when you have made such request to take some blood sample out of your body. The blood is then placed inside a small cylinder container and then placed on a centrifuge that spins it quickly. The motion done to the blood is a process that separates it into 3 parts such as the plasma or the fluid component, red blood cells and the other cells. When the separation is completed, the medical technician will be able to identify the proportion of red blood cells with respect to the blood volume. Another term for hematocrit is packed-cell volume.

The test is done as part of the CBC or complete blood count. The amount of red blood cells in the body compared to the total blood cells will aid your doctor in completing his diagnosis of an illness. This is also helpful in determining the proper medications that will respond perfectly with your body.

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Low hematocrit, High hematocrit

There are normal Hematocrit levels accepted depending on the age of the individual and their gender as well.  Note that the standard range varies among laboratories.

  • New born: 55 to 68 percent
  • One week from birth: 47 to 65 percent
  • One month from birth: 37 to 49 percent
  • Three months: 30 to 36 percent
  • One year: 29 to 41 percent
  • Ten years: 36 to 40 percent
  • Adult Men: 42 to 54 percent
  • Adult Women: 38 to 46 percent

When the result is low hematocrit, this indicates the person may be anemic. There are various reasons for being anemic. The most common reason amongst all of them is blood loss from accidents, traumatic injury or surgery; deficiency from nutrition, which could be due to lack of certain vitamins such as folate, vitamin B12 and Iron; problems with bone marrow, and beyond normal hematocrit which is known as sickle cell anemia. Another reason is the abnormal levels of white blood cells which usually occupy a small portion of the blood.  This condition may be caused by certain infections, lymphoma, leukemia or other diseases linked to white blood cells.

High hematocrit, on the other hand is common amongst individuals living in high altitudes and chronic smokers. It causes the body dehydration although this disappears when one has proper intake of fluids in their body. Some conditions that yield high hematocrit are certain tumors, lung disease or polycythemia rubra vera and the abuse of erythropoietin drug which is used by athletes for the purpose of blood tampering.

Also read about WBC count, normal, low and high

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