Hemoglobin Determination

Each red blood cell contains millions of molecules of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is necessary for the transport of oxygen to the cells of the various tissues of the body. Inadequate hemoglobin or insufficient numbers of red blood cells results in a condition known as anemia.

The hemoglobin content of the blood is expressed in grams per 100 milliliters (ml) of blood. The range of values for a female is 12 to 16 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. The range of values for a male is 13 to 17 grams per 100 milliliters of blood.

Exercise 26.4


Cotton ball soaked in alcohol Dry cotton ball Sterile disposable lancet Hemoglobinometer Hemolysis applicator

1. The blood chamber of the hemoglobinometer consists of a metal clip, a flat glass cover plate, and an H-shaped glass moat. The blood is to be placed on the raised center portion of the H-shaped moat. There is a second raised center portion on the opposite side.

2. Place moat plate and cover plate into the metal clip so that the H-shaped moat is on the bottom. Push the flat glass cover plate all the way into the metal clip. The H-shaped moat should be inserted only halfway into the metal clip.

3. Scrub a finger with alcohol. Stick the finger with a sterile lancet. Immediately after using the lancet, place it in the bio-hazard container. Any disposable object contaminated with blood should be placed into the bio-hazard container.

3. Touch your finger, that has a large drop of blood on the end of it, to the raised center portion of the H-shaped moat.

4. Hemolyze (break down) the blood on the raised center portion of the H-shaped moat by gently rolling the pointed end of the hemolysis applicator in the blood for 45 seconds. Care should be used not to "slop" any of the blood into the moat. At the end of 45 seconds, the blood should no longer be cloudy, but should be transparent in appearance.

5. Push the bottom slide containing the H-shaped moat into the metal clip. At this time, blood will remain on the raised center portion of the H-shaped moat and excess blood will flow into the moat. Using a quick motion, wipe the edges of the two pieces of glass to remove any blood on the outside of them.

6. Place the blood chamber into the side of the hemoglobinometer.

7. Hold the hemoglobinometer in your left hand so that your left thumb is free to push the light switch button on the bottom of the hemoglobinometer.

8. Place the eyepiece of the hemoglobinometer to your eye and push the light switch button with your left thumb. Using your right hand, move the slide button on the side of the hemoglobinometer back and forth until the two halves of the split green field are of the same intensity (Note: intensity, not color).

9. Observe the side of the hemoglobinometer and note where the index mark of the slide button indicates the grams of hemoglobin per 100 milliliters of blood. Record your results below.

10. Remove the chamber from the hemoglobinometer and thoroughly wash it with soap and water. Dry the chamber and return it to its case.

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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