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Blood Smear

A blood smear is a drop of blood spread on a microscopic slide. This analysis can be prescribed separately by a physician but most of the time it is done as a follow-up test to abnormal results obtained on an automated Complete Blood Count. Contrary to results obtained on automated cell counters, only an expert eye can distinguish among the many abnormal forms of red cells (drepanocytes, acanthocytes, elliptocytes, etc.), white blood cells (immature and atypical leukocytes), and platelets (platelet clumps, megathrombocytes). A blood smear also allows the identification of the parasite causing malaria. Visual observations are most often reported on a semi-quantitative scale from “occasional” to “4+” (four plus). Please consult our glossary for information concerning each of the results appearing on your complete blood count analysis. In certain cases, results are revised by a medical hematologist that will provide a diagnostic opinion on all the results.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.