Draw a 1 % brilliant cresyl blue solution in physiologic saline to the 0.5 mark of a white cell counting pipet, and draw up the blood to the 1.0 mark. Expel the mixture carefully, without forming air bubbles, into a paraffinated watch-glass dish, mix carefully with a paraffinated glass rod, and place in a moist chamber for 15 - 20 min. Then remix carefully with a paraffinated glass rod. With the rod, transfer 1 or 2 drops of the mixture to a microscope slide and smear in standard fashion using a ground coverslip. Examine the air-dried slides under oil-immersion magnification, and count the number of reticulocytes per 1000 red cells at multiple sites in the smear. Very high-quality films can be obtained by Giem-sa counterstaining.
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