Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes or red blood cells, are relatively large blood cells, which carry the oxygen that is generated in the lungs to all tissues of the body, and in the same way remove carbon dioxide from the body.
The analysis of the red blood cells is a useful count that allows us to know the number of red blood cells found in a person's bloodstream. A red cell count means knowing the number of red blood cells per unit of blood, the result of this analysis will reflect millions of red blood cells contained in one microliter of blood. The age and sex of a person influences the total red blood cell count; in women the total number tends to vary from approximately 4.2 to 5.4 million red blood cells per microliter of blood. In males the red blood cell count is relatively slightly higher than that of females, the normal males count between 4.7 and 6 million red blood cells per microliter of blood. In children the red blood cell count tends to be very narrow and its normal values are between the ranges of men and women, with the normal red blood cell count in children being 4.6 to 4.8 million red cells per microliter of blood.
It should be noted that people living at elevated altitudes where oxygen tends to be lighter have a relatively higher red blood cell count. The normal ranges for red cell cones are:
Men: values between 4.7 to 6.1 million red blood cells per microliter of blood.
Women: values between 4.2 to 5.4 million red blood cells per microliter of blood.
Children: values between 4.6 to 4.8 million red blood cells per microliter of blood.
High levels of red blood cells:
When a person has blood red blood levels above normal, it is said that he suffers from a clinical condition called polycythemia. Polycythemia is a condition where hematocrit, hemoglobin, or red blood cell values are increased above normal limits.
The most common causes for obtaining a high red blood cell count may be as follows:
Consumption of drugs such as steroids or anabolics stimulate the production of red blood cells.
Congenital heart disease.
Carbon monoxide poisoning.
Injection of erythropoietin to increase sports performance.
Some types of cancers, such as kidney cancer. Living in high altitudes.
Pulmonary diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis. Smoking.
Low levels of red blood cells:
When a person has a red cell count below the normal level, he is said to have a medical condition called anemia. It is commonly heard that a person with anemia has a low blood count.
The blood is composed of two parts, a liquid part called plasma, and a cell part that is composed of different cells, one of them and the most numerous are the red blood cells, the other types of cells contained in the blood are the platelets and the white cells. When presenting the condition where the red blood cell count is low the patient usually has little oxygenation in their organism, and as a consequence they present symptoms such as excessive tiredness and difficulty breathing.
There are different types of anemias of which the most common are the following:
Anemia due to active bleeding.
Iron deficiency anemia.
Chronic disease anemia.
Anemia related to pregnancy.
Anemia due to malnutrition.