Hepatitis C Community
13.4k Members
Avatar universal

unable to obtain platelet count due to...

i just got my labs from last monday and it says "unable to obtain platelet count due to platelet clumps, platelets appear decreased on slide". does anyone know what that means? the labs the week before had my platelets at 82. does this mean there are hardly any? i am waiting for my extremely slow GI to call me back. it also says "few large platelets observed and occasional giant platelets". also the rest of my labs were as follows:
WBC 4.0   they went up from 2.5
RBC 3.12  up from 3.01
HGB 10.9  down from 11.1
HCT 31.4  up from 29.2
MCV 101 high
MCH 35.0 high
RDW 17.7 high
Neutrophils (abs) 2.4 up from 1.3
what is MCV, MCH and RDW and why are mine suddenly high?  i just did second procrit today, so i hop ethis doesn't affect these high #'s in a bad way. very confused. if anyone knows anything, i'd appreciate it, again.
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Yeah, I got that a couple of times as well. What I think it means is that the person who drew your blood either put it in the wrong vial or forgot to turn the vial up and down a couple of times to mix the blood with reagant. Could be wrong on this however. I'm sure you'll get a number on the next blood draw. Not to worry.

-- Jim
96938 tn?1189799858
Going waay back to basleine pre-tx#1, I had the same result on a test run by Quest.  All subsequent cbc's (been dozens) got a valid reading.  Doc thought it was the timely handling of the sample. (Something like coagulation before test executed). Wasn't a probalem with the plateltes, although normally low anyway. For the others, see labtestsonline.org for definitions.(note it's tests not test)
Avatar universal
thanks to you both, i thought i was platelet free,lol!
96938 tn?1189799858
If you were platelet-free right now hcv would not be an issue for you.  :)
154668 tn?1290115995
As the others have said, the blood sample was probably mishandled.  The RBC (red blood cell) count, MCH (mean corpuscular volume) and MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) are some of the results reported out on your CBC (complete blood count). The RBC is your red blood cell count, which usually ranges from 3.6 to 6.1 million red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood. MCH and MCHC are called red blood cell indices. They measure the average amount of hemoglobin contained within your red blood cells. Don't worry about minor abnormalities in these indices. These tests really don't deserve all that much attention and is common when your HGB drops.
Avatar universal
My platelets clumped too and I saw the same comments on my lab results - once it read "one rare giant platelet". I go to Quest and they began using a blue top vial I think it's blue and the regular ones are pink top but if the regulars are blue than it's the pink top but the point is they have different vials and that's what you need. I was told "once a clumper always a clumper" but I don't think the tech had much experience with HCV drugs and the changes they can cause because I have had labs with regular vials and no clumping. I hated being called a "clumper" - there is something unpalatable about that term. Mike
96938 tn?1189799858
And, I'm pretty sure it's not the purple one.  After all these draws, I can't imagine how may you've been through, still can't bring myself to watch the vials fill.  I've got spots and posters on the various lab walls on which I focus. And why can't they use painless tape over the gauze pad?
Avatar universal
This happens to hubby all the time. When he goes to the local Quest lab they have never been able to get a platelet count, but when he goes to the liver center at a large hospital, they always get a reading. I think its the lab sometimes.  But as long as they say adequate clumping you should be fine ;-)
Avatar universal
I hated being called a "clumper" - there is something unpalatable about that term.
Hi Clumper!
Avatar universal
The Quest web site tells you the type (color tube tops required) for each test and turnaround times!! I had to tell the girl once which color to use!!
Avatar universal
Yeah, I'll often mention to the nurse sweet nothings like, "which of the tubes are you supposed to shake a little" and then she'll pick them up and shake them as if she was going to do that all the time. LOL. Or, little hints like "So is it the purple-topped vial that gets frozen for the Heptimax?" Fortunatly, I found one phlebotomist at a Quest center who does it all right. Not all do.
Avatar universal
The purple one is for Heptimax. If they don't turn some of the vials over a few times the platelets may clump. I think.
146021 tn?1237204887
You're a nurse right? Here is the best website for lab tests.http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cbc/test.html
I copied this part for you:
Platelets are special cell fragments that play an important role in blood clotting. If a patient does not have enough platelets, he will be at an increased risk of excessive bleeding and bruising. The CBC measures the number and size of platelets present. With some conditions and in some people, there may be giant platelets or platelet clumps that are difficult for the hematology instrument to accurately measure. In this case, a blood smear test may be necessary. Also there's a lot of info at this site that helps to understand why all your odd tests are high. My P.A. and a nurse practioner couldn't tell me what RDW stood for or why it's high. All I can say from reading up on it is that it goes up as hgb goes down! I'd never make a good teacher!

Avatar universal
thanks everyone,again. i just mainly wasn't sure if it was because of my platelets or the lab. now i know. my neighbor had a daughter on chemo and said if your platelets get to low, that they have to do a platelet transfusion, so she got me worried. i don't think they ever get my labs right. oh well. i'll have to wait another week or two or three.
Avatar universal
You had better start behaving yourself young lady and BTW, I am no longer a clumper....so there! Mike
Avatar universal
You had better start behaving yourself young lady and BTW, I am no longer a clumper....so there!
1. I ALWAYS behave myself. You know that. Didn't I give you a break on your bill after you told me that you were living way above your means and how Karen is trying to help you out financially? Hey that made me feel bad and I ate the bill, didn't I? Didn't I also tell you that you can now have your therapy sessions for free as long as you sit in with the people from the 'group home?' The guy that murdered his grandmother lost his case, so he won't be there next week, no need for you to worry anymore. I did completely understand your fears and I am glad you expressed those fears to me. We are making progress Mike.

2.Being called names such as 'clumper' in your particular case,is a way we grow into the people we are meant to be. I want you to accept that name and not look at it as a negative. Embrace it. Ask the universe to speak the name Clumper to you as you sit under a tree in your yard. Please pick a tree that looks lonely and gently pet it before you sit under it. Trees have feelings too. I have 2 baby Bonzai trees as new clients for therapy next week.   Yes, this is a typical day in my world of stress. I have it too, but I am an expert at dealing with it. I'm sure you've noticed my very mild personality. It took years of therapy and training for me to become who I am. Karen knows that it will take time for you and is willing to wait. She loves you that much. Learn to appreciate her for the woman she is, not just for her money. We need to work on that more.

Avatar universal
Karen and I are both financially solvent but thank you so much for your deep concern. Evidently I haven't made it clear that my platelets no longer clump  so I am not a clumper. I assume it was either treatment and/or transplant related.  Mike
Avatar universal
Oh, so you're going to ignore the tree then.
Thats sad.
Avatar universal
What tree? Mike
Avatar universal
I'm not telling you. You have to read what I write the first time around. I don't repeat myself unless its to nag my husband.

92903 tn?1309904711
"(color tube tops required)"

Holey Cr_ap, Jim! Did you wear in a fresh color every visit, or just ride around with one skanky tube top in your glove box and change in the parking lot. Reminds me of the skanky [email protected]@ colored shirts they'd put us in in Junior High gym class for basketball games. They shared them 6 periods a day and washed the lot of 'em once a season. I think that's where I picked up the hep, BTW.

FLguy - I used to always get a buterfly needle, and then instead of tape I would have them wrap a few turns of sort of an ace bandage like stuff around. It prevented bruising when platelets were in the tank. I forget now what I called the stuff when I asked for it, but it really helped.  
Avatar universal
I am just the opposite. I cannot resist watching the needle insertion and all of the vials fill. I have had a lot of labs but even early in TX I watched. Maybe it's because me Father was a pediatrician and I never thought twice about shots or any of that medical stuff. I had two huge veins right where they're supposed to be so it was always an easy hit and draw. Then in 2005 when I was in the trauma unit after my bike wreck they collapsed the vein in my right arm so now I have to make the lab tech move all around. I now use the back of my left forearm and my hand along with the big one right in the elbow crease. I am trying to save the big one just in case some calamity befalls me. Mike
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473358451
683231 tn?1467323017
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.