What is Blood Smear?
Blood smear, alternatively known as peripheral blood smear is a laboratory test in which a thin film of blood is blotted on a microscope slide followed by staining the specimen to permit numerous blood cells to be microscopically observable. This examination is usually indicated to look into the hematological status of the patient and rarely used to search for parasites within the blood.
There are no special preparations which are necessary. A smear is done by placing a drop of blood on one side of the slide, and then is dispersed over the slide’s length using a spreader slide. It is done in this manner so as to obtain a section where blood cells have enough gaps for them to be counted and discriminated. After, the specimen on the slide is left to air dry, and then the slide is immersed in methanol. The fixative process is vital to ensure proper staining and good presentation of cellular features. The slide is stained thereafter to differentiate the cells from the rest of the blood cells.
Doctors usually order the carrying out of a blood smear examination to assess and evaluate specific blood cell population which then indicates whether a certain group of blood cells is increased or decreased in number, or shows whether cells are abnormal, normal or immature. Patients having blood disorders are indicated to have a peripheral blood smear; patients include those who experience weakness, fatigue, pale complexion, unexplained yellowing of skin, bleeding episodes, spleenomegaly and bone pain.
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