What is a red blood cell (RBC) count?
A red blood cell (RBC) count measures the number of red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body. Your cells need oxygen to grow, reproduce, and stay healthy. An RBC count that is higher or lower than normal is often the first sign of an illness. So the test may allow you to get treatment even before you have symptoms.
Other names: erythrocyte count, red count