Adults above the age of 60 witness a gradual deterioration in their health, further increasing the risk of illnesses and diseases. However, this is not consistent, as some elders enjoy good health because of the excellent care provided to them at the right time to ensure a healthier life and wonderful golden years.
If you are taking care of your old parents or have grandparents at home, regular health check-ups are a great way to take care of them and keep diseases at bay. Since their advancing age makes them weak and vulnerable, you need to keep a check on their health and give them the right care when needed.
Preventive check-ups like a Haemogram test (HMG) serve as a great way to monitor elderly health. It has the potential to spot the reason behind certain diseases in the elderly. A complete Haemogram test can be helpful for doctors in evaluating the possible onset of a medical condition in the patient and take action accordingly. This helps in taking early precautions to avoid any complications and even avoiding the occurrence of a disease.
This article serves as a complete guide to a Haemogram test, including price, procedure, and normal values of tested parameters.
What is a Haemogram Test?
A Haemogram test (HMG), also known as a complete blood test, is a group of tests performed on a patient by taking a sample of his or her blood. The test involves a broad screening of a patient’s blood to check for any signs of disease or infection in the body. The main advantage of this test in the elderly is that it detects even the slightest of abnormalities and provides crucial information about the signs or causes of an illness.
A complete haemogram blood test mainly involves the testing of three components: Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs), and Platelets. Following are the parameters measured in HMG.
● Platelet Crit (PCT)
● Mean Cell Volume (MCV)
● Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)
● Peripheral Smear Examination
● Platelet Large Cell Ratio (P-LCR)
● Platelet Distribution Width (PDW)
● Total count of WBC, RBC & Platelets
● Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
● Packed Cell Volume (PCV) OR Haematocrit (HCT)
● Mean Cell Haemoglobin (MCH) & its Concentration
● RBC Distribution Width-Standard Deviation (RDW-SD)
● RBC Distribution Width-Coefficient of Variation (RDW-CV)
● Absolute count of Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils & Basophils
● Differential count of Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils & Basophils
What is the Purpose of a Haemogram Test?
As mentioned earlier, a haemogram test is considered a complete health check-up to help monitor the overall elderly health. It can detect the following health issues and chronic diseases in elderly patients.
● Heart problems
● Bleeding disorders
● Autoimmune disorders
● Infection or inflammation
● Problems in Bone Marrow
● Aneamia (low Hemoglobin)
What is the Procedure of Haemogram Test?
A Haemogram test involves a simple process of taking the blood sample of an individual and testing it as per the normal values of various parameters. There is no other special procedure or fasting required to take the test unless the consulting doctor gives any special instructions. Here is what happens during a Haemogram test.
1. The lab technician will clean the area on your arm (mostly upper arm) from where blood has to be drawn.
2. He or she will then place an elastic band around your upper arm to increase the blood pressure and easily identify the vein.
3. A syringe with a needle will then be inserted to collect the blood sample from the vein.
4. The elastic band will be removed post successful collection of sample blood.
5. The syringe will be emptied into a container that will further go for testing.
6. Results for the test usually come within a day.
The process doesn’t involve any pain, however, a slight prick or pinching sensation can be experienced when the needle is inserted into the skin. If in case any emergency help for the elderly is needed, one can reach out to the doctor available at the path lab for assistance.
Haemogram Test Normal Values
The results of a complete Haemogram blood test are interpreted based on the normal values of the listed parameters. The tested values within the normal range mean that the person is healthy. In the case of the opposite, the person is advised to take care of themselves with prescribed medications.
The table for normal values of all the parameters measured in a haemogram test is given below.
Male = 14-17.5 g/dl
Females = 12-15 g/dl
Male = 4.5 - 5.9 x 106
Females = 4.5 - 5.1 x 106
80 - 96 µm
Mean Cell Haemoglobin Concentration
33 - 36 %
39 - 46 fL
Monocyte Absolute Count
Neutrophil Absolute Count
1800 - 7800 /µL
Lymphocyte Absolute Count
Eosinophils Absolute Count
Basophils Absolute Count
RBC Distribution Width-Coefficient of Variation
What is the Cost of a Haemogram Test?
The cost of taking a haemogram test varies in different cities. If you wish to get the test done, you can directly visit the path lab in your city or call them up to get the price details. Some path labs also have the facility to send their lab technician to your residence to take the blood sample. This makes it convenient for getting a haemogram test done for the elderly as they don’t have to go through the hassle of travelling all the way to the lab and waiting for their turn. In such cases, the test result is made available online on the pathology lab’s website.
Preparing the Elderly for a Haemogram Test
While no special preparation is required for senior citizens getting a Haemogram test done, keeping in mind the following will ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.
1. Drink plenty of water before the test to help maintain a healthy flow of blood in the body. This will make it easier for the technician to locate the vein and take the required sample.
2. Eat in sufficient amounts before going for the test to maintain the blood sugar levels. This prevents dizziness or lightheadedness after the blood is drawn.
3. Avoid taking any medication just before the test. Just in case you have any prescribed medication scheduled for that time, inform the technician before he or she begins the test procedure.
4. Relax if you are getting anxious about the test procedure. Ask the technician to explain everything to you beforehand.
5. Remove the band-aid from the area after a few hours of the procedure. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, apply slight pressure to the area until it stops, and cover it with a fresh band-aid.
6. If bruising occurs, use an ice pack to soothe the area. Repeat it several times until the skin colour comes back to normal.
Things You Must Know
The process of a haemogram test is simple and involves little to no risks. However, being aware of the following factors will ensure that there is no likelihood.
1. Research the chosen pathology lab before you decide to get the test done. Take feedback from your friends and family about the quality of service provided to ensure genuine test results.
2. Ask for the cost of a complete Haemogram test at your chosen path lab and do a price comparison with other labs to ensure no unnecessary amount is being charged.
3. Make sure that the path lab maintains a hygienic environment and the technician performing the test procedure has taken all precautions from washing hands to wearing gloves and mask.
4. Ensure that a fresh and sterilized syringe is being used to collect the blood samples for the test.
5. See that the labelling of your name on the blood sample is done correctly to avoid any discrepancy in the test results or the mixing of samples.
How to Ensure Good Elderly Health?
Keeping up with the healthcare needs of your elders can be overwhelming. While doctors take the help of a haemogram test to monitor their health and detect any signs of illnesses in older adults, enlisted below are some factors that will help you ensure their good health.
1. Healthy Eating Habits
The food we eat is the best source of vitamins and minerals for the body, especially for elders. Make sure that your old parents or grandparents have the right food intake to help them stay healthy and free of illnesses. You can also contact a good nutritionist to get a diet chart prepared for them and ensure that they eat according to their body requirements.
2. Physical Wellbeing
Being physically active is important for elderly people. Besides giving them the independence of movement, it ensures that they stay healthy in the long run. People who exercise tend to have a better immune system, good digestive functioning, maintain blood pressure levels and bone density. It also helps to control obesity, heart problems, and diabetes, among other common health issues in the elderly.
3. Regular Medication
Most of the elderly suffer from health issues that result in moderate to heavy medication. Non-adherence to the same can lead to certain complications and hence you need to have proper medication-management for them. You can also set reminders throughout the day to ensure that the medication is taken on time. Make them have the medication in your presence if they tend to skip it when you are not around.
4. Social Connectedness
As relationship satisfaction increases in later life, staying socially connected helps to promote mental health and wellbeing in the elderly. It also helps to keep away depression, loneliness, and unhealthy behaviour which result from a lack of meaningful social connection. Help them by Introducing them to the world of the internet where they can learn new things, join communities, and participate in activities & events to stay engrossed and entertained.
With their health in control, older adults can live life to the fullest and have joyous golden years. After all, having happy and healthy elders is all that we wish for.
At EMOHA, we are dedicated to simplifying, securing, and energizing elderly living with home health care because for us, it is always #EldersFirst.