Medical Surgical Labs CBC #5


Which food is best for the client with a RBC of 3.8 million due to kidney disease?


  1. Ground beef
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is not the best choice of the answers listed. The best source of iron for a client with kidney disease is leafy green vegetables.

  2. Spinach
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because it has the highest iron content but lowest protein amount. This client requires iron due to the low RBC count. However, the client has kidney disease and should limit protein intake.

  3. Baked chicken
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it is low in iron content. It also contains protein, and since this client has kidney disease is not the best food choice listed.

  4. Pasta
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because of its low iron content. Some pasta contains protein and this should be limited for a client with kidney disease.


The client with an RBC of 3.8 million requires iron. The client with possible kidney disease needs to limit protein intake.


Learning Outcomes

A normal RBC count is between 4-6 million. A low RBC count may be caused from anemia or renal failure. Treatment is administration of iron in vitamins or food and erythropoietin. It is difficult for diseased kidneys to filter out waste. Waste is created by too much protein. A low protein diet is recommended in the client with kidney disease. The best food choices for clients with low RBCs and kidney disease are leafy green vegetables for the iron content. Replacing meat with vegetables and grains is a way to reduce protein intake. Low protein foods include fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats as found in avocados. Visiting a nutritionist can aid the client in low-protein, iron rich meal plans.

Test Taking Tip

Read the question carefully. The client has low RBCs and kidney disease, which means iron is required, but not in the form of high protein.

Video Rationale