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Full blood count (FBC)

Category Haematology
Clinical Indications

WBC count: may be increased with infections, inflammation, cancer, leukaemia; decreased with some medications, some autoimmune conditions, some viral or severe infections, bone marrow failure, enlarged spleen, liver disease, alcohol excess and congenital marrow aplasia RBC count: decreased in anaemia; increased when too many are produced and with fluid loss due to diarrhoea, dehydration or burns MCV: increased in B12 and folate deficiency, liver disease, underactive thyroid, pregnancy, alcohol excess, some bone marrow disorders; decreased in iron deficiency, long-standing inflammatory disorders and thalassaemia MCH: may be low in iron deficiency, inflammatory conditions and thalassaemia RDW: increased RDW indicates abnormal variation in RBC size; can indicate iron deficiency or bone marrow disorders Platelets: increased numbers of platelets occur with bleeding, inflammation, bone marrow disorders and in patients with absent or underactive spleens; decreased numbers are associated with immune conditions such as ITP and SLE, vitamin deficiencies, some drugs (especially chemotherapy), alcoholism, liver disease, enlarged spleens, bone marrow disorders and some rare inherited disorders, such as Wiskott-Aldrich and Bernard-Soulier syndromes

Sample & container required 4 mL EDTA (lavender top) adults 0.5 mL EDTA (lavender top) paediatrics Please send separate tubes for FBC, ESR and HBA1C
Sample volume 0.5 mL adult tube; 0.2 mL paediatric tube
Turnaround time 4 hours

FBC reference ranges