Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. The purpose of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the other tissues and cells of the body. A complete blood count determines the amount of hemoglobin in the blood and the number of red blood cells in the body. A test of the hemoglobin is usually used to monitor or diagnose conditions such as anemia or polycythemia. A hemoglobin test will also provide information about the need for blood transfusions.

A hemoglobin test may be performed if signs and symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Fainting
  • Pallor
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Difficulty with vision

A hemoglobin test will be able to provide the doctor with an overall assessment of health.

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