Every human being must have a hematocrit. Hematocrit is expressed in percentage form. There is a way to find out hematocrit levels. Hematocrit levels that are too low or too high can indicate a problem in the body.
Still want to know more details about hematocrit? Read more to find out things about hematocrit. Know the definition of hematocrit, hematocrit test, how to measure hematocrit, normal hematocrit levels, if hematocrit is low, if hematocrit is high, and how to overcome hematocrit levels is not normal.
What is a hematocrit?
Hematocrit is the ratio of the number of red blood cells to the total blood volume. So, it can also be said that the hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. That way, hematocrit levels are expressed in percentage form.
For example, a 30% hematocrit level means that there are 30 mL of red blood cells in 100 mL of blood. Figures on hematocrit levels have an important meaning that shows your health condition. Hematocrit levels can be seen by doing a hematocrit blood test or it can also be through a routine blood test or complete ( Complete Blood Count ).
What is a hematocrit blood test?
A hematocrit blood test is a test performed to measure the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Actually, a hematocrit blood test is part of a complete blood test or routine hematology ( Complete Blood Count ).
Most of these complete or routine blood tests are to measure the concentration of blood cells, namely red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The results of a routine blood test that shows the concentration of red blood cells is a hematocrit blood test.
What are the benefits of a hematocrit blood test?
A hematocrit blood test has several benefits. The benefits of a hematocrit blood test can help doctors diagnose medical problems and determine how well your body is. Usually a hematocrit blood test is performed to test for anemia, leukemia and malnutrition.
Side effects of hematocrit blood tests
Does the hematocrit blood test have side effects? Maybe this question crossed your mind. A hematocrit blood test does not have dangerous side effects if according to the procedure. Side effects of a hematocrit blood test are only temporary, such as slight bleeding at the time the blood is to be taken.
Although it does not have harmful and long-term side effects, you still need to be vigilant. If you have an area where blood is swollen or bleeding doesn’t stop within a few minutes after being pressed, then immediately tell your doctor to get immediate treatment.
How to measure hematocrit?
It has been explained that a hematocrit blood test is a test to measure hematocrit. On routine blood tests, hematocrit is also measured with other blood cells. Then, how to measure hematocrit? Certainly the hematocrit is measured through a blood sample taken using two methods.
1. Using an automatic machine
Blood samples taken can be measured using an automatic machine. The machine is a machine that is also used to measure blood in addition to a hematocrit. In these machines, hematocrit is measured by measuring the amount of hemoglobin and the average number of red blood cells.
2. Using a centrifuge
In addition to using automatic machines, hematocrit can also be measured using the manual method. This manual method uses a tool that is a centrifuge. A small blood sample of about 0.05-0.1 mL is placed in a thin capillary tube.
The tube is centrifuged for several minutes. Red blood cells will gather below to a small area consisting of white blood cells and then serum. How to measure hematocrit levels is to divide the height of the red blood cells with the total height of the liquid in the capillary tube.
Normal hematocrit level
Normal hematocrit levels are not hit flat for everyone. The normal range of hematocrit is influenced by several factors. Factors that affect normal hematocrit levels include age and sex, pregnancy, height of residence, and hematocrit test methods.
The following are normal hematocrit levels for several categories:
- Newborn: around 55% – 68%
- Babies aged 1-4 weeks: around 47% – 65%
- Babies aged 1-2 months: around 37% – 49%
- Infants aged 3-11 months: around 30% – 36%
- Babies aged 1-9 years: around 29% – 41%
- Children aged 10 years and over: around 36% – 40%
- Adult male: around 38.8% – 50%
- Mature women: around 34.9% – 44.5%
- Adult pregnant women:
- around 30% – 34% for the lower limit
- around 46% for the upper limit
- Population at altitude:
- around 45% – 61% for men
- around 41% – 56% for women
If hematocrit levels are low
If someone has a low hematocrit level, it means that the percentage of red blood cells is at the lower limit of normal hematocrit levels for the same category. Low hematocrit conditions can be referred to as anemia.
There are several reasons that cause low hematocrit levels. Some causes of low hematocrit levels include boils, injuries, bleeding, surgery, illness, overhydration, malnutrition, bone marrow problems, and abnormal hemoglobin.
That is the reason why the hematocrit level becomes low or is at the lower limit. In addition to causes, you must also be curious to find out indications when hematocrit levels are low. It has been mentioned earlier that abnormal hematocrit levels including low hematocrit levels can indicate a problem in the body.
The following are indications of low hematocrit levels, namely:
- kidney failure
- hemolytic anemia
- sickle cell anemia
- chronic inflammatory disease
- internal bleeding
- bone marrow disease
- lack of some nutrients
If hematocrit levels are high
In addition to low hematocrit levels, abnormal hematocrit levels are also characterized by high hematocrit levels. High hematocrit levels mean that the percentage of red blood cells is at the upper limit of normal hematocrit levels in the same group.
High levels of chemotherapy indicate an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells. Usually, people who live in high places have high hematocrit levels too. So is the case with chronic smokers.
There are several other things that cause high hematocrit levels. Some causes of increased hematocrit levels are genetic, dehydration, tumors, lung disease, bone marrow disorders, and abuse of dopping drugs .
Not only low hematocrit levels indicate a problem. High hematocrit levels also indicate several problems. The following are some of the problems of high hematocrit levels:
- kidney tumors
- lung disease
- congenital heart disease
How to deal with abnormal hematocrit?
Can low or high hematocrit levels be treated? The answer is yes. Abnormal hematocrit levels can be cured but have different ways depending on the causes that make hematocrit levels abnormal.
Patients with low hematocrit levels can be treated with iron parenteral fluid, transfusion, and drugs to stimulate the production of red blood cells. In patients with high hematocrit levels can be treated by blood loss. This method is usually due to polycythemia rubra vera.
However, at hematocrit levels that are only slightly low or slightly high do not need to be treated either by using drugs or by procedures. An abnormal hematocrit level will be monitored by a doctor. Monitoring hematocrit levels is by doing a hematocrit blood test or it can also be with a routine blood test.