Erythrocyte Disorders


What is an Erythrocyte?

Erythrocytes, also called red blood cells, are the component of blood that carries oxygen. The word “erythrocyte” comes from the word “erythros” meaning “red,” “kytos” meaning “hollow” and “cyte” meaning “cell” in the modern language. Containing no nucleus, hemoglobin is found in these cells, which is an essential part of red blood cells as it is the one responsible for carrying and transporting oxygen to the different parts of the body.

Significant Information about Erythrocytes

R – Red blood cells are IDEALLY suitable for gas exchange because of their peculiar shape and small size. This unique characteristic of these cells provide a large surface area relative to their volume.

E – Erythrocytes are small cells shaped like biconcave discs which are flattened discs with depressed centers on both sides

D – Decreased erythrocytes levels would result to thinning of the blood and its flowing rapidly. RBC’s are the major contributing factor to blood viscosity.

Normal Values of Red Blood Cells:

  • 4 to 6 million per mm3

C – Carriers and transporters of oxygen and small amount of carbon dioxide

E – Essential determinant of erythrocyte function is not only their number but the amount of HEMOGLOBIN in the bloodstream at any time that really determines how well the erythrocytes are performing their role of oxygen transport. The more hemoglobin molecules the RBC’s contain, the more oxygen they will be able to carry.

Normal values of Hemoglobin:

  • Child (1-6): 9.5 to 14 g/dl
  • Child (6-18): 10 to 15.5 g/dl
  • Male: 14 to 18 g/dl
  • Female: 12 to 16 g/dl

Normal Values of Hematocrit

Hematocrit is the percentage of red cells present in the total volume of the blood. Normal values appropriate for corresponding age are as follows:

  • Child (1-6): 30 to 40 %
  • Child (6-18): 32 to 40 %
  • Male: 42 to 52 %
  • Female: 37 to 47 %

L – Literally, RBC’s are sacs of hemoglobin molecules. The most accurate way of measuring the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is to determine how much hemoglobin it contains.

L – Leukocytes are outnumbers by erythrocytes by about 1000 to 1.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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