A red blood cell count is usually carried out as part of a full blood cell (FBC) count. A normal red blood cell count would be:
male – 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microlitre (cells/mcL)
female – 4.2 to 5.4 million cells/mcL
The results of an red blood cell count can be used to help diagnose blood related conditions, such as iron deficiency.
A low red blood cell count could also indicate a vitamin B6, B12 or folate deficiency. It may also signify internal bleeding, kidney disease or malnutrition.
A high red blood cell count could be due to a number of health conditions or health-related factors and can cause your red blood cells to clump together and lower or block blood flow in tiny blood vessels making it much more difficult for your blood to carry oxygen.