May 16, 2011


Today in class, we got to work a little bit with blood.  We took samples that had already been drawn and ran two tests on them.  The first test is called a Packed Cell Volume.  We put the blood into what's called a microhematocrit tube.  We spun it down in a centrifuge to separate the cells from the plasma, and then measured the amount of blood cells in the sample using a tube reader card (see picture).

If the PCV is too low, it can indicate Anemia.  If it is too high, it can indicate dehydration.

Next, we broke the tubes and placed some of the plasma (the clear fluid on top) on a refractomer to check protein levels (see below).

Too high of a protein level can indicate dehydration or cancer of the blood or bone marrow.  Too low of a level can indicate malnutrition, kidney or liver disease, bleeding, burns, or poor digestion.

Wednesday we will learn about blood smears and will hopefully be able to do some!

See you then!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool, thanks for keeping me up on your class!