How to Read Pediatric Blood Test Results

Written by beth richards
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How to Read Pediatric Blood Test Results
Child having a blood test (sectionz)

Paediatric blood test results are sometimes different than adult results, as the values will vary depending on age, weight and other factors. Each independent lab may have different values as well. Read the results based on what the lab defines as a normal range.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Familiarise yourself with the proper terms for different types of blood counts, or number of each type of cell. The CBC (Complete Blood Count) is one of the most common types of paediatric blood tests. Normal values include: Hematocrit (30 to 40 per cent); Hemoglobin (10 to 13 gm/dl); White Blood Count (3,000 to 10,000 cells/mcl); and Platelets (170,000 to 380,000/mm3).

  2. 2

    Find and read the glucose range, another very common blood test for children that is used in screening for diabetes. Normal range for paediatric glucose is 60 to 100 mg/dl. Glucose is sometimes classified with cholesterol, which has a normal range of 80 to 200 mg/dl in children.

  3. 3

    Determine electrolyte balance, which is important for blood and cell function. Normal electrolyte values are Bicarbonate (24 to 34 mEq/L); Calcium (8.8 to 10.4 mg/dl); Chloride (97 to 106 mEq/L); Magnesium (1.3 to 2.3 mg/dl); Phosphate (3.2 to 5.7 mg/dl); Potassium (3.6 to 5.2 mEq/L); and Sodium (135 to 144 mEq/L).

  4. 4

    Understand liver function blood tests. Normal results include Bilirubin (zero to 1.4 mg/dl total; zero to .4 mg/dl direct) and Ammonia (11 to 35 mcg/dl).

  5. 5

    Read kidney function blood test results. Normal ranges include BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) at 5 to 18 mg/dl and Creatinine at under .5 mg/dl.

Tips and warnings

  • Many lab results are abbreviated into measurement per amount. Cells per microliter is abbreviated as cells/mcl. Other abbreviations are listed on results as:
  • gm/dl--grams per decilitre
  • IU/L--international units per litre
  • mcg/dl--micrograms per decilitre
  • mEq/L--milliequivalents per litre
  • mg/dl--milligrams per decilitre
  • mm3--millimetres cubed
  • U/L--units per litre
  • It is important to verify paediatric blood test results with your health care provider. Individual results can vary and will need to be interpreted by a professional.

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