Red Blood Cells, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit and Anemia
If your red blood cell count is below normal, you are anemic. During anemia, your hematocrit and hemoglobin levels will also be low, so your blood oxygen levels will be low, meaning you’ll have too much carbon dioxide in your body. Anemia leads to fatigue, weakness, dizziness, trouble getting a full breath, headache, and ringing in the ears. This condition can be treated with injections of Procrit or darbepoietin. Low levels of hematocrit and hemoglobin may require a blood transfusion.
Platelets Count and Thrombocytopenia
If your platelet count is low, your blood may not able to clot. This condition is called thrombocytopenia. If you got cut or if a blood vessel broke, your platelets could not seal the break, and you might experience a hemorrhage. Thrombocytopenia can lead to nose bleeds, bruises that heal slowly, bleeding gums, red or brown urine, bloody stool, and vaginal bleeding (not menstrual). This condition can be treated with drugs that boost platelet production, or a platelet transfusion may be needed.
National Institutes of Health. NIH Clinical Center. Patient Information Publications. Complete Blood Count. PDF file, published April 2000.