Sickle Cell Society

blood test?

In May 2017 I went to local doctor for a general blood test,heard nothing so assumed all was well

10th July I got a text from same doctor to say a little concerned as I had a low blood count, to which I replied obviously as to why this took 2 months ?

Since I have sickle cell trait since birth I have never had this before before and can somebody advise as certainly I should have been notified well before.

The answer I got was come see me in Aug and see if there is any change.

Have I missed something?

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The expression "A low blood count" is completely meaningless as blood is made up of red cells, white cells and platelets and any one of them can be low as a group. In addition there are a number of tests they do in red blood cells, and a variety of white blood cell types. This again means any of the red blood cells tests could be low and any of the types of white cells could be low.

So unfortunately until you see the doctor you won't know what they mean.

I suggest when you do you:

1. Ask what blood cell measure was low, and,

2. Ask them what it means and if it can be treated, and,

3. Most importantly ask for a copy of your test results WITH ranges for your own records. You need the ranges otherwise the results are meaningless as each lab uses a different range. If you are in the UK this is your right under the Data Protection Act 1998 and you don't have to give a reason. If the practice refuses in full or part then go home and contact the Office of the Information Commissioner whose details you can find via Google.

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Your doctor is probably referring to your hemoglobin count. If it is only slightly or even moderately low, and you are not suffering severe symptoms, then your doctor may think no immediate attention is needed. If it were severely low, or if you were in excruciating pain, then the situation would require immediate attention. I recommend you let how you feel determine whether or not immediate action is necessary. If your symptoms have decreased or ended, then you might be fine waiting until August for the doctor's appointment. Take care. Best wishes!

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