What is a Hematocrit Level
What is a hematocrit level? How is a person’s hematocrit level measured and what exactly is supposed to be a normal level when it comes to hematocrit level? Here are a few facts on hematocrit levels that you might want to know about:
- Hematocrit levels are basically based on the proportion of red blood cells a person has in his body and this level is expressed in percentage form.
- The percentage that shows how many red blood cells you have is expressed as such: If a person has an HCT level or hematocrit level of 40 percent, it means that for 100 milliliters of his blood, he has 40 milliliters that consist of red blood cells.
- When hematocrit levels need to be measured, it can be done automatically with a machine that calculates the hematocrit level in a person’s blood and determine hemoglobin amounts and red blood cell average volumes. Manual measuring is done with the use of a centrifuge system.
How to Determine Hematocrit Normal Range
When a person wants to know if he or she has normal hematocrit levels or if they want to know if members of their family have normal HCT levels, here is a list of normal ranges depending on age:
- Newborn babies should have 55 percent to 68 percent HCT levels.
- A one-week-old baby should have HCT levels between 47 percent and 65 percent.
- A three-month-old baby should have HCT levels that range from 30 percent to 36 percent.
- An HCT level of 29 percent to 41 percent is normal for a one-year-old baby.
- Children around 10 years of age will have normal HCT levels at 36 percent to 40 percent.
- Adult females should have around 38 percent to 46 percent HCT levels for normalcy.
- Adult males can have normal HCT levels when it is at 42 percent to 54 percent.
Importance of Low and High Hematocrit Levels
What does a low and a high hematocrit level mean? Why does a person get high and low hematocrit level?
- When a person is diagnosed with a low hematocrit level, then that person can be called anemic. Reasons for having low hematocrit levels include the recent loss of blood due to surgery or an injury, problems with the bone marrow, nutritional deficiencies, and even having an abnormal hematocrit or sickle cell anemia.
- Elevated hematocrit levels in a person can signify a variety of illnesses or situations. People who live places with high altitudes as well as chronic smokers tend to have high hematocrit levels. Certain tumors, lung disease, and even dehydration can also show a person having an elevated hematocrit level.