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What is wrong with my father-in-law's blood report?

Q: My father-in-law is 55 years old. He recently underwent a complete blood count and it came out as haemoglobin 7, WBC 3.25, RBC 2.2, platelet 33k. Could you please tell me what is wrong with him?

A:The complete blood count report is suggestive of pancytopenia, which is a reduction in the number of all the formed elements of the blood i.e. red blood cells, white blood cells and the platelets. This is usually due to bone marrow depression, which may be secondary to drugs/toxins, nutritional deficiency, infection or a primary haematologic disease. He would require a peripheral smear examination, a reticulocyte count and a bone marrow examination to find the cause for this. Please consult a haematologist who can examine him physically, investigate and then treat him appropriately. This should not be neglected.

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