RBC (Red Blood Cell Count) Blood Test

RBC (Red Blood Cell Count) Blood


Learn your blood cell count with an RBC blood test that measures how many red blood cells (RBCs) you have in your bloodstream.

Because your health matters.

Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and contain haemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen. How much oxygen your body tissues receive depends on how many red blood cells you have and how well they are working. A normal red blood cell count is essential for good health.

The RBC blood test is a quick, easy and accurate way to know your red blood cell count. The test can be added to any of our full body health check packages. Explore our packages and book online today.

Fast, accurate results

Competitively priced testing within 20 minutes of your home

Detailed, personalised Results Report

Access to our 24/7 GP service with all test packages

How it


Bluecrest Health Assessment Specialist
  • 1.

    Select and book your package

    View our health packages and book a full body private health check. All our individual tests can be added to any of our existing health packages. Just call our team on 0800 652 2183 before your appointment to add an extra test.

  • 2.

    Make an appointment

    Choose the venue, date and time that suits you. With over 2000 appointments available nationwide every week, you're sure to find a convenient time, date and venue.

  • 3.

    Attend your appointment

    A trained phlebotomist will carry out your assessment. The whole process only takes around 20 - 30 minutes.

  • 4.

    Fast, accurate results within 8 days

    Within around 8 days, you'll receive your personalised digital Results Report. Your results will be explained in detail and any areas of concern will be highlighted.

Why take a red blood cell blood


An RBC blood test identifies if the number of red blood cells you have is normal.

Measuring RBCs can help diagnose anaemia, a condition where the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. A low red blood cell count is a key indicator of anaemia, which can have many root causes.

RBC blood tests can also be used to help diagnose other conditions that affect red blood cells, such as kidney problems, a type of white blood cell cancer, or problems with the bone marrow.

What are the symptoms of a low red blood cell


Symptoms of a low red blood cell count may include:

  • Feeling weak or tired more often than usual
  • Headaches
  • Problems concentrating or thinking
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness and tingling of hands and feet

With severely low red blood cell counts, symptoms may include:

  • Blue colour to the whites of the eyes
  • Brittle nails
  • Desire to eat ice or other non-food things (pica syndrome)
  • Light-headedness when you stand up
  • Pale skin colour
  • Shortness of breath with mild activity or even at rest
  • Sore or inflamed tongue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Abnormal or increased menstrual bleeding in females
  • Loss of sexual desire in men

If your anaemia is mild or has developed slowly over a long period of time, you may not notice any symptoms.

Specific forms of anaemia may have different symptoms, depending on the cause.

What are the symptoms of a high red blood cell


An above-normal concentration of red blood cells is sometimes called polycythaemia, or erythrocytosis. This makes your blood thicker than it should be, causing the flow of blood to be sluggish, which can increase your risk for blood clots.

Many of the symptoms of a high red blood cell count are caused by the slower flow of blood, although sometimes people don’t experience any symptoms at all.

Symptoms of a high red blood cell count may include:

  • Discomfort in the chest or abdomen
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Joint pain
  • Abnormal skin sensations, such as tingling, tickling, pricking, itching, numbness or burning
  • Nosebleeds
  • Gout
  • Tinnitus

What does the RBC blood test


Having an RBC blood test is very simple. You don’t need to prepare for the test but it’s recommended that you stay well hydrated with water before your test. This is because dehydration is a common cause of high blood cell counts.

The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm, as opposed to using a finger-prick blood test, because results tend to be more accurate this way. The test is relatively painless, except for a slight pricking sensation as the phlebotomist inserts the needle. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing.

Private health checks for complete peace of


Our full body private health checks are designed for busy people who want to take control of their health. Our tests are quick, accurate, convenient and completely stress-free. No waiting for an appointment, no invasive procedures, no embarrassing questions, no long travel times and no busy waiting rooms.

Trained phlebotomists carry out all tests in our 350 venues across the UK and Ireland, so you get accurate professional health checks within 20 minutes of your home. Our private health checks include all the tests you need to take a proactive approach to monitoring and improving your health.

Any individual tests can be added to any full body health check. Just book one of our full body private health assessments and call us before your appointment to add an extra test.



Call free on 0800 652 2183 to speak to one of our team.


All of our tests are carried out by trained phlebotomists in over 350 venues across the UK and Ireland. We only carry out in-person tests as this guarantees the accuracy of your test results and enables us to get your samples to the laboratory for testing quickly, therefore giving you results faster.
Generally speaking, it is considered that a normal red blood cell count in adult men should not be higher than 6.1 million cells/mcL. For adult women, a normal red blood cell count should be no higher than 5.4 million cells/mcL. The reference values vary for other age groups, pregnant women and people who live in high altitudes, where the oxygen pressure is lower. If you live at a high altitude, the body produces more RBCs so the blood can carry more oxygen.
First, your doctor must determine the cause of your abnormal RBC count so that they can prescribe appropriate treatment, this may involve additional tests. Treatment may include a vitamin or mineral supplement, a change in your nutrition, removal of excess red blood cells or replacement with red blood cells from a blood donor. Alternatively, it may only require changing your current medication or prescribing a drug to stimulate red cell production in your bone marrow.
A normal RBC count will vary according to your age, sex, and whether you are pregnant or not. The specific reference ranges may vary slightly between different regions, countries or laboratories. It is considered that 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microlitre (mcL) is a normal RBC count for adult men. Women usually have a slightly lower count of 4.2 to 5.4 million cells/mcL.
The main function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide, from the lungs to the tissues and vice versa. Removing carbon dioxide from the body helps to maintain the pH of the blood. Unlike most cells, red blood cells do not contain a nucleus and are biconcave in shape, which means they have a bigger surface area, giving them more room to store haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a vital protein in the human body and has an important function. The main role of haemoglobin is to transport oxygen from the lungs to all cells and tissues in the body.
No, a low red blood cell count isn't always serious. For example, your RBC count may be low if you are pregnant or menstruating, or if you aren't getting enough iron in your diet. If you do have a low RBC count, depending on your results, you may need further testing to rule out more serious causes.