Blood Film

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Also known as: Peripheral blood smear, manual differential, red blood cell morphology
Formal name: Peripheral blood film

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To find out if red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are normal in appearance and number; to distinguish between different types of white blood cells and to determine their relative percentages in the blood; to help diagnose a range of deficiencies, diseases, and disorders involving blood cell production, function and destruction; to monitor cell production and cell maturity in diseases such as anaemia, leukaemia, during chemo/radiation therapy, or in the evaluation for haemoglobin variants.

When to Get Tested?

When FBC results are abnormal, a blood film with manual WBC differential is done to look for abnormal or immature cells; when a doctor suspects a deficiency, disease, or disorder that can affect blood cell production; when you are being treated for a disease with medications that may have an affect on blood cell production.

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm or by pricking a finger, ear or, in the case of an infant, a heel.

Test Preparation Needed?

No test preparation is needed.