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A Full Blood Count (FBC), also known as a Complete Blood Count (CBC), is a standard test used to assess a person’s overall health and detect a variety of conditions. It may be ordered by healthcare providers in various situations, including:

  1. Routine Health Checkups: An FBC is often included in routine health screenings to evaluate overall health status. It can help identify underlying conditions that might not present with obvious symptoms.
  2. Evaluation of Symptoms: When a person experiences specific symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, unexplained weight loss, frequent infections, bruising, bleeding, or symptoms suggestive of anemia, an FBC might be ordered to investigate potential underlying causes.
  3. Monitoring Certain Medical Conditions: For individuals with known blood disorders, such as anemia, leukemia, or conditions affecting blood cell production or function, regular FBC tests are used to monitor disease progression, response to treatment, or potential complications.
  4. Preoperative Assessment: Before certain surgeries or procedures, healthcare providers may order an FBC to assess the patient’s overall health and ensure there are no underlying blood-related issues that could affect the procedure or recovery.
  5. Monitoring Medication Side Effects: Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs or certain antibiotics, can affect blood cell counts. Regular FBC tests help monitor changes in blood cell counts and detect potential side effects of these medications.
  6. Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Infections or Inflammatory Conditions: Infections or inflammatory conditions can affect blood cell counts. An FBC can help diagnose and monitor these conditions by assessing the levels of white blood cells and other blood components.
  7. Screening for Blood Disorders: In cases where there is suspicion of blood-related disorders, such as bleeding disorders or clotting abnormalities, an FBC can provide valuable information for further investigation.

The decision to order an FBC depends on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and the healthcare provider’s clinical judgment. It’s an essential and relatively simple test that provides valuable information about various aspects of blood cell health. Interpretation of the results is crucial and is often done in conjunction with other tests or examinations to arrive at a comprehensive diagnosis.