Hematocrit Case Study

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Hematocrit Determination

Learning Objectives
1. Understand the terms hematocrit, red blood cells, hemoglobin, buffy coat, anemia, and polycythemia.
2. Understand how the hematocrit (packed red blood cell volume) is determined.
3. Understand the implications of elevated or decreased hematocrit.
4. Understand the importance of proper disposal of laboratory material that comes into contact with blood.
|Total height of blood column (mm)|Height of red blood cell layer (mm)|Height of buffy coat (mm)|Hematocrit|% WBC|
Sample 1 (healthy male living in Boston)|100mm|48mm|1mm|48|1%|
Sample 2 (healthy female living in Boston)|100mm|44mm|1mm|44|1%|
Sample 3 (healthy male living in Denver)|100mm|55mm|1mm|55|1%|
Sample 4 (healthy
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Thinner air means that there is less oxygen to breathe so the body has to produce more red blood cells in order to properly oxygenate the blood. My prediction was correct.
· Describe how the kidneys respond to a chronic decrease in oxygen and what effect this has on hematocrit levels.
When there is a decrease in oxygen in the blood, the kidneys begin to release more erythropoietin into your blood stream. The erythropoietin stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells. As the body produces more red blood cells more oxygen is able to be transported through the blood, which raises the hematocrit level, and this restores homeostasis.
· List the hematocrit for the male with aplastic anemia (sample 5) and indicate whether it is normal or abnormal. Explain your response.
Male with aplastic anemia- 19
This is an abnormal level.
When a person has aplastic anemia the bone marrow does not produce an adequate amount of red blood cells. When there are not enough red blood cells oxygen cannot travel through the blood properly which causes lowered hematocrit levels.
· List the hematocrit for the female with iron-deficiency anemia (sample 6) and indicate whether it is normal or abnormal. Explain your response.
Female with iron-deficiency anemia- 32
This level is slightly abnormal.
When there are not adequate levels of iron in the blood, the body cannot produce hemoglobin