The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is the hemoglobin which permits them to transport oxygen (and carbon dioxide). Hemoglobin, aside from being a transport molecule, is a pigment. It gives the cells their red color (and their name).
The abbreviation for red blood cells is RBCs. Red blood cells are sometime simply called red cells. They are also called erythrocytes or, rarely today, red blood corpuscles.
- Red cell count
The number of red blood cells (RBCs) in a volume of blood. The normal range varies slightly between laboratories but is generally between 4.2 – 5.9 million cells/cmm. This can also be referred to as the erythrocyte count and can be expressed in international units as 4.2 – 5.9 x 1012 cells per liter.
- Red cell distribution width
A measurement of the variability of red blood cell size. Higher numbers indicate greater variation in size. The normal range for the red cell distribution width (RDW) is 11 – 15. The RDW is a standard part of the complete blood count.
- Red cells
Short for red blood cells, the oxygen/carbon dioxide carrying cells in blood. Also known acronymically as RBC’s, red corpuscles or erythrocytes (literally, red hollow vessels).
- Red corpuscles
Red corpuscles are cells that carry oxygen in the blood. They are also called red blood cells or “RBCs.”
- Red Devils
Street name for dextromethorphan (DXM).