White Blood Count (WBC)

about White Blood Cell

What is White Blood Cell Count (WBC)?

White Blood Cell Count (WBC) is a laboratory test that measures the concentration of white blood cells in your bloodstream. White blood cells play a crucial role in fighting against infections by producing more and specialized cells to fight off specific organisms.

Preparation for White Blood Cell Count (WBC)

No special preparation is needed for this test. However, you might want to talk to your doctor about any medication you are taking as the results could be affected by certain drugs, such as antibiotics, steroids, and some antidepressants.

Procedure of White Blood Cell Count (WBC)

The procedure for a WBC test is simple. First, a sample of your blood is drawn and placed into a vacuum tube. The tube is then sent to a laboratory and placed in a machine that counts the number of white blood cells in the sample. The results are usually ready within a few hours.

Types of White Blood Cells

There are five main types of white blood cells in the body: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Each of these cells plays a different role in the body's immune system.

  • Neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell and help to fight bacterial infections.
  • Eosinophils help to reduce inflammation and fight against parasites.
  • Basophils help to destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
  • Lymphocytes produce antibodies that recognize and attack foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.
  • Monocytes help to remove dead or damaged cells from the body.

Risks and Complications of White Blood Cell Count (WBC)

The risks of a WBC test are minimal. The only possible complication is a small bruise or infection at the site where the needle was inserted. If this occurs, it should go away on its own in a few days.

Why your doctor might order a White Blood Cell Count?

Your doctor may order a WBC test in order to help diagnose an infection or to check for a certain type of cancer. It can also be used to determine if a patient is immunosuppressed, meaning their white blood cell count is lower than normal.

When to get your White Blood Cell Count?

Your doctor may order a WBC test if you have signs and symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. It can also be ordered if you have a medical condition affecting your immune system, such as HIV or cancer.