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Laboratory Data

CBC Patient Normal Range
WBC (per mm3) 15,000 5.000-10,000
RBC 4.2 x 106/uL 4.2-5.4 x 106/uL
Hgb 12 g/dl 12-16 g/dl
Hct 48% 37-45% (female)
45-54% (male)
Neutrophils 70 40-65
Lymphocytes 29 20-40
Monocytes 1 5-10
Platelets (per/mm3) 250,000 120,00-440,000


Chemistry Panel
Sodium 137 135-145 mEq/L
Potassium 3.6 3.5-5.5 mEq/L
Chloride 105 98-106 mEq/L
Glucose 140 80-120 mg/dl
Creatine Kinase 550 units/L 96-140 units/L
BUN 24 mg/dl 7-20 mg/dl
Creatinine 0.9 0.5-1.2 mg/dl
Total Protein 4.0 gm/dl 6.0-8.4 gm/dl
Albumin 2.7 gm/dL 3.4-5.4 gm/dl
Globulin 1.3 gm/dl 2.3-3.5 gm/dl

Interpretation of Lab Data: Don't be confused by all of the lab values. We will try and simplify.


  • White Blood Cells are high. White cells in the blood are elevated during inflammation and trauma. Under the differential results, we see the type of white cells that are high are neutrophils. Neutrophils help fight infection and are the first to the site with inflammation.
  • Red Blood Cells are slightly low as is the Hemoglobin due to the trauma of the burn.
  • The hematocrit (Hct) is the percentage off of the volume of the whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. In burns, the patient has lost a lot of fluid from leaky blood vessels (see Systemic Effects of Burns in the Case Study Workbook). There are more red cells than fluid so the hematocrit is high. You can think about this if you make up a packet of Kool-Aid. If you dilute the Kool-Aid with 2 qts of water, it tastes about right; it's normal. If I dilute the Kool-Aid with 1 cup of water, it's very concentrated. Think of the hematocrit as describing how concentrated the Kool-Aid is, only in this case we're talking about how concentrated the blood is. If there's not a lot of fluid in the vessels, the blood is very concentrated. The hematocrit goes up.

Chemistry Panel

  • The glucose value is elevated. The body is under extreme stress. Glucose stores are released from the liver and new glucose is made. This extra glucose is needed as energy for the body to heal.
  • Creatine Kinase is very high. Creatine is a breakdown product from muscles. Because of the damage to the muscles from the burn, creatine kinase is released into the bloodstream.
  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen). This is a breakdown product from protein and also reflects kidney damage.
  • Total Protein, albumin, and globulin values. The patient's total protein is low because proteins have been lost through damaged blood vessels (see Systemic Effects of Burns in the workbook). Albumin is the major blood protein and globulins reflect the rest of the blood proteins.