Red Blood Cell Counts

The number of red blood cells in a cubic millimeter (mm3) of blood is called the red blood cell count (RBCC or RCC). Although this number varies from time to time even in healthy individuals, the typical range for adult males is 4,600,000-6,200,000 cells per mm3, and that for adult females is 4,200,000-5,400,000 cells per mm3. For children, the average range is 4,500,000-5,100,000 cells per mm3. These values may vary slightly with the hospital, physician, and type of equipment used to make blood cell counts. The number of red blood cells generally increases after several days following strenuous exercise, or an increase in altitude, due to the body cells' increased oxygen demand.

The equivalent units of microliters (|L) are sometimes used in place of mm3 in describing blood cell counts. For example, 4,600,000 cells per mm3 is equivalent to 4,600,000 cells per | L.

Since an increasing number of circulating red blood cells increases the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity, changes in this number may affect health. For this reason, red blood cell counts are routinely consulted to help diagnose and evaluate the courses of various diseases.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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