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Oxygen in inhaled air diffuses into the blood in the lungs. Blood has a massive capacity to dissolve oxygen – much more oxygen can dissolve in blood than could dissolve in the same amount of water. This is because blood contains haemoglobin – a specialised protein that binds to oxygen in the lungs so that the oxygen can be transported to the rest of the body.

The amount of haemoglobin in blood increases at high altitude. This is one of the best-known features of acclimatisation (acclimation) to high altitude. Increasing the amount of haemoglobin in the blood increases the amount of oxygen that can be carried. However, there is a downside: when there is too much haemoglobin, blood becomes sticky and viscous and it is harder for the heart to pump the blood around the body. This happens in chronic mountain sickness.

Platelet Count

How Is It Used ?

Bleeding disorders or bone marrow diseases, such as leukemia, require the determination of the number of platelets present and/or their ability to function correctly.

When Is It Ordered ?

A platelet count is often ordered as a part of a complete blood count, which may be done at an annual physical examination. It is almost always ordered when a patient has unexplained bruises or takes what appears to be an unusually long time to stop bleeding from a small cut or wound.


What Is It ?

Pneumococci are bacteria that are commonly found in the respiratory tracts of healthy individuals. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, these bacteria can become invasive and cause significant illness in some people, especially children under the age of 3, people over the age of 65, and certain high-risk groups (see “Who’s most at risk?” below).

What Are The Most Significant Complications ?

Active infections can cause pneumonia, blood infections, and meningitis. Prior to childhood vaccinations for pneumococcal, there were 13,000 cases of blood infections plus 700 cases of meningitis among children each year, and 200 children died each year from complications of the disease.


TLC Health Screening – bringing you all the benefits of on-site employee health screening Health screening shows how much you value and care for your staff – and helps your organisation at the same time.

TLC Health Screening takes this principle one step further, providing a host of other benefits – because, unlike similar organisations, TLC arranges its screenings at its clients’ premises. Which means employees are away from work for just an hour, at most – and not losing time travelling to a GP.

Peripheral Smear

A microscopic examination of a stained, peripheral blood smear may be useful in evaluating blood disorders.

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