Red Blood Cell Count – Types

Blood is a very important component of a human body and it plays an important function in the circulatory system inside the body.

There are two types of blood cells:

  • Red Blood Cells (RBC)
  • White Blood Cells (WBC)

The two types of cells are differentiated on the basis of their functions.

  • RBCs are the blood cells that carry oxygen to different parts of the body.
  • WBCs are the blood cells that provide immunity power to the body.

The RBCs have a component, hemoglobin and it is this hemoglobin, which enables these cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to other parts. Hemoglobin gives the cell its red color. The mature red blood cells (RBC) are a non-nucleated biconcave disk.

Human body consists of millions & millions of these little disc-shaped cells. In RBC count the number, size and shape of the RBCs are determine, which is useful in the diagnosis of anemia and its type.

According to medical science in normal condition Adult humans have roughly 2–3 × 1013 (20-30 trillion) red blood cells at any given time. This is approximately one fourth of the total body cell. Though the number may slightly vary in women and they have about 4 to 5 million RBCs per cubic millimeter of blood while men have about 5 to 6 million; Even the location has an impact on the RBC count and people living at high altitudes with low oxygen tension will have more).

Red blood cells are thus much more common than the other blood particles: there are about 4,000–11,000 white blood cells and about 150,000–400,000 platelets in each micro liter of human blood.

As for the life cycle of the Human red blood cells, it takes on average 20 seconds to complete one cycle of circulation. As red blood cells contain no nucleus, it is assumed that protein biosynthesis is currently is not present in these cells, although some recent studies have proved on the contrary and indicates the presence of all the necessary bio-machinery in the cells to do so.

The red color from where it gets its name is due to the spectral properties of the hemic iron ions in hemoglobin.  A red blood cell (RBC) count is a useful blood test that can provide information about how many RBCs are there in a person’s blood. It is  the number of RBCs per volume of blood and is reported in either millions in a micro liter or millions in a liter of blood.

The normal range of RBC count is:

  • Women: 4.2 to 5.4 million/ul
  • Men: 4.7 to 6.1 million/ul
  • Children; 4.6 to 4.8 million/ul