Doctors determine hemoglobin measurements through complete blood counts (CBC). A blood sample is placed in a centrifuge-style machine that breaks down red blood cells to release hemoglobin into a special solution. This "free" hemoglobin is then mixed with a cyanide-containing chemical that adheres to hemoglobin molecules. Lab technicians then shine a light through this mixture to measure pure hemoglobin. The amount of hemoglobin the blood requires changes depending on a person's age. Additionally, men require more hemoglobin than women.
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