Skip to Content
Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. A blood test can tell how much hemoglobin you have in your blood.
See also: Hemoglobin electrophoresis
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
No special preparation is necessary.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Normal results vary, but in general are:
Note: gm/dL = grams per deciliterThe examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples.Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
Lower-than-normal hemoglobin may be due to:
Higher-than-normal hemoglobin may be due to:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.