At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To evaluate the hemoglobin content of your blood as part of a general health checkup; to screen for and help diagnose conditions that affect red blood cells (RBCs); if you have anemia (low hemoglobin) or polycythemia (high hemoglobin), to assess the severity of these conditions and to monitor response to treatment
When to Get Tested?
With a hematocrit or as part of a complete blood count (CBC), which may be ordered as a component of a general health screen; when you have signs and symptoms of anemia (weakness, fatigue) or polycythemia (dizziness, headache); at regular intervals to monitor these conditions or response to treatment
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or by a fingerstick (children and adults) or heelstick (newborns)
Test Preparation Needed?