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Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen enters the lungs with each breath and binds (attaches) to hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries the oxygen to all the organs and tissues in the body. Two laboratory tests are done to measure the number and function of red blood cells:
A Hemoglobin test shows how much oxygen the red blood cells are able to carry. A normal hemoglobin level is between 12 and 16.
When the hemoglobin count is low, the body is not able to get as much oxygen to go throughout the body.
If your child needs a blood transfusion, the blood given will match your child’s blood type. The blood will be given over several hours into a vein, through a central venous catheter or an IV in the arm. Your child will be checked during the transfusion for signs of a reaction.