Hematocrit is the percentage of red cells in the blood, for example, a hematocrit value of 30% means that there are 30 milliliters of red blood cells per 100 milliliters of blood. In laboratory tests, hematocrits are usually identified with the abbreviations Ht.
Hematocrits are measured by special machines used for blood tests in laboratories, these machines are able to calculate other values in the blood simultaneously, most of them do not directly measure the value of the hematocrit, but that it determines it through the amount of hemoglobin relative to the mean volume of red blood cells. Formerly hematocrits were measured manually, blood was poured into a test tube, then placed in a centrifuge and centrifuge action was performed so that the red blood cells terminated at the bottom of the test tube, thus the ratio of the red blood cells with the rest of the blood can be visually appreciated, and in this way the percentage can be calculated.
Normal hematocrit values:
The values of hematocrits depend fundamentally on the age and sex of a person. These parameters are what will indicate the normal ranges in an individual. In newborn babies the ranges are between 55% and 68%. After one week of birth the ranges vary between 47% and 65%. At 1 month of age ranges vary between 37% and 49%. At 3 months of age the values would be between 30% and 36%. 1 year of age ranks range between 29% and 41%. At 10 years of age values would be between 38% and 46%. In adult men the values vary between 42% and 54%. In adult women the values vary between 38% and 46%. It should be noted that these values may vary slightly from one laboratory to another, all depending on the technique used to estimate the parameters.
Low hematocrit values:
A person with low hematocrit values is diagnosed with anemia. There are multiple reasons for a patient to get anemia, the most common reasons would be for blood loss through injury, surgery, colon cancer, lupus, kidney failure due to poor diet leading to a deficit of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid or by treatments such as chemotherapy. High hematocrit values High hematocrit values in a person's blood test means they have a significantly high increase in red blood cells in blood concentration. It is very common to find patients with high levels of hematocrits living at high altitudes and chronic smokers, dehydration usually reflects a false positive of high hematocrits, but when the missing liquid is restored in the body, the hematocrit balance in the blood is established . Other rare causes that can cause elevated hematocrits may be lung disease, some tumors, polycythemia which is a bone marrow disorder, erythropoietin drug abuse commonly used by athletes for blood doping purposes.