The Status of the Red Blood Cell Stratus -- AKA Hematocrit!

adapted from work by Judy Barcelon

In this third lesson, students will develop an understanding of the procedure and value of a hematocrit which is a routine test before every blood donation.


Healthy red blood cell counts average about 45% of packed red blood cells. In this lesson students will learn how to prepare samples and measure blood volumes to calculate hematocrit values for 3 patient samples. 

To further their medical knowledge they will explore the causation and treatment for abnormal hematocrit values and extend this thinking to a current day issue of the use of erythropoietin by athletes. This lesson builds on their knowledge of red blood cells (erythrocytes) and provides more hands on examples of how they can create a demonstration model for an upcoming school/community blood drive.

Lesson Times

55 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Health Science and Medical Technology Health Science and Medical Technology
    • Biotechnology
    • Patient Care
K-12 Subjects
  • Science
    • Life Sciences
Grade Levels
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives


Next Generation Science Standards (1)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of hematocrit values by accurately analyzing patient samples.
  • Students will problem solve how hematocrits would be affected as a result of doping- such as seen by Olympic athletes.

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