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JE Sramek MD
JE Sramek MD, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 207
Experience:  Specializing in Pathology, I excel at making test results and cancer understandable.
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When you have a high red blood cell count what should be ...

Customer Question

When you have a high red blood cell count what should be the count 40-50-60-, where is safe and wjere is danagerous, is there anything besides blood draws to control or loweer count.   Thank you, Doug
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Deanna, RN replied 8 years ago.

DearCustomer

Living at high altitudes causes an increase in RBC counts; this is your body's response to the decreased oxygen available at these heights. Normal RBCs for males is 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microliter, but this varies from lab to lab, and again, high altitudes will affect these values.

You will have symptoms related to high RBCs such as disturbed vision, headache, and flushing, if you are symptomatic. If you are not, your physician may choose not to treat it. Drawing blood is only temporary, as your body is going to immediately start building new red blood cells to replace the ones you drew off, so I don't recommend it. It is usually only used in an emergency basis. There are drugs that can decrease your RBCs, and your physician will determine if you need them or not.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Deanna, RN's Post: I don't know RBC # XXXXX just say I've got 40-50-60-70- Red blood count where is the danger point and what kind of medicene should I ask for from Doc.    Doug
Expert:  Deanna, RN replied 8 years ago.

I don't understand where the 40-50-60.... factors in. Never heard it expressed that way. I would suggest seeing your primary care physician about this. If you got these values from a walk-in type clinic, it may be that you don't even have a problem. See your physician and be tested there. He will know if additional tests are needed, and how to treat you.

 

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
There are # XXXXX to me by by Doc. at the VA Hospital and the people and the blood doner bank they can't take my blood if its over 60, and you still did't give me any medicines to ask for I know no more than when I started I'm not paying $9.00 for this.     Doug
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Deanna, RN's Post: It might be the same question but it wasn't answered the first time, I will not pay $9 for this.    Doug
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If you can't answer my question I better not see a charge on my card.
Expert:  Deanna, RN replied 8 years ago.

Although a high red blood cell count is not a specific disease, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. Causes can be high altitude, smoking related, right-sided heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis, polycythemia vera, kidney disease, and steroid use, to name a few. Treatment of a high red blood cell count is directed at the underlying cause. I cannot tell you how to treat it, because you do not know the cause.

I'm sorry if this wasn't the information that you desired, but the cause must be determined. You are not required to pay for any answer that you are dissatisfied with. Best of luck to you.

Expert:  Deanna, RN replied 8 years ago.
You are not charged until you click "Accept" to accept my answer.
Expert:  JE Sramek MD replied 8 years ago.
In patients with high red blood cell counts, there's no precise number above which is dangerous and below which is safe. The risk of "sludging" and clots increases as your blood concentration goes up. The goal of treatment is to get your hematocrit (a measure of hemoglobin concentration) below 45 (for men; 42 for women).
As far as treatment, frequent blood draws are used to rapidly reduce your blood counts, and with time will deplete your body's iron stores and limit your body's ability to over-produce red blood cells. So it is actually a long-term treatment option. A number of medications which suppress red cell production are also used. Hydroxyurea is the most commonly used. It's generic and relatively inexpensive. However, it does have side effects. Medications to prevent clots (blood thinners) are also helpful in preventing complications. I hope this answers your question. Please feel free to ask if you have further questions.
JE Sramek MD, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 207
Experience: Specializing in Pathology, I excel at making test results and cancer understandable.
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