Haemoglobin

Print this article
Share this page:
Also known as: Hb
Related tests: Full blood count

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

If you have anaemia (too few red blood cells) or polycythaemia (too many red blood cells), to assess its severity, and to monitor response to treatment

When to Get Tested?

As part of a full blood count (FBC), which may be requested for a variety of reasons

Sample Required?

A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or by a finger-prick (children and adults) or heel-prick (newborns)

Test Preparation Needed?

None

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

This test measures the amount of haemoglobin (a protein found in red blood cells) in your blood and is a good indication of your blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout your body. Haemoglobin carries oxygen to cells from the lungs. If your haemoglobin levels are low, you have anaemia, a condition in which your body is not getting enough oxygen, causing fatigue and weakness.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm or by a finger-prick (for children and adults) or heel-prick (for newborns).

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.

The Test

Common Questions

Ask a Laboratory Scientist

Article Sources

« Return to Related Pages

NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.