Blood drawn from someone is put in a small capillary tube, which is then spun in a small centrifuge at 10,000 RPM for five minutes. As the tube spins, the red blood cells go to the bottom of the tube, the white blood cells cover the red in a thin layer called the buffy coat, and the liquid plasma rises to the top. The spun tube is examined for the line that divides the red cells from the buffy coat and plasma. The height of the red cell column is measured as a percent of the total blood column. The higher the column of red cells, the higher the hematocrit.