Table 1.

Steps for interpreting the white blood cell parameters of a complete blood count.

Step 1.Ensure that NRBCs or other conditions are not falsely affecting the WBC; correct the WBC if needed, before proceeding.
Step 2.Examine the WBC for variations in the total number of wbcs.
Step 3.Interpret absolute differential counts against appropriate reference intervals using proper terminology.
Step 4.If absolute counts are not available from an instrument, use relative counts (i.e. percentages) to calculate absolute values.
Step 5.Make note of immature cells in any leukocyte cell line reported in the differential that should not appear in normal peripheral blood.
Step 6.Make note of any morphological abnormalities of wbcs.
Step 7.Correlate the wbc findings with rbc and platelet findings for a complete clinical assessment of the patient's blood picture.