IJCRR - Vol 02 Issue 01, January, 2010
Date of Publication: 30-Nov--0001
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APPROCH TO THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF ANEMIA
Author: Sachin V. Tembhurne, Dinesh M Sakarkar
Abstract:It is important to understand that anemia is not a disease by itself, but the result of a malfunction somewhere in the body. It is a quite common condition, particularly in female; estimates suggest that around one in five menstruating women and half of all pregnant women are anemic. A wide range of events, including certain
diseases, specific conditions and modifications, can cause anemia. Anemia means that either the level of
red blood cells or the level of haemoglobin is lower than normal. This means the red blood cells have to work
harder to get oxygen around the body. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called haemoglobin. This protein gives red blood cell their characteristics color. It is state that when value of haemoglobin fall 5 to 6 mg/dl the person immediately gets startled and anxious then it understands
that the person is anemic. Haemoglobin value is not providing sufficient information to understand the
anemia because it is not a simple condition that can be merely defined by just one parameter. This article try to explain the various facets of anemia, its diagnosis, the approach, test involved, the treatment to be given and the prevention should to be taken.
Keywords: anemia, RBC, haemoglobin, types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention.
Anaemia is not a disease by itself but only a manifestation of disease which resulted to the reduction in the number of circulating red blood cells, or the hemoglobin concentration in the blood. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. In anemia, the blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of the body. As a result, people with anemia can face variety of complications, including fatigue and stress on bodily organs. In severe or prolonged cases of anemia, the lack of oxygen in the blood can cause serious and sometimes fatal damage to the heart and other organs of the body (1, 2). World Health Organization (WHO) defined it as a hemoglobin (Hb) level <13 g/dl in men and <12 g/dl in women. Results from a number of studies have indicated that anemia has a substantial negative impact on both function and quality of life in the elderly. Even when “mild” anemia is present, it causes and/or is associated with both significant functional impairment and increased patient mortality 2, 3 .
A recent review of studies of anemia in elderly patients confirms that, hemoglobin levels decline with age and anemia is considered to be an important health problem among older individuals. It affects 1 in every 7 or 8 person over 65 yrs living in the community. In older people admitted to hospital or nursing homes anemia is even more common, affecting almost 1 in 24 . Although there are over 400 different forms of anemia, this health profile will only address the three most common: iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 anemia and folic acid deficiency. Anemia can also be caused by conditions such as external bleeding, chronic disease, pregnancy, alcoholism, bleeding disorders, infection and hereditary conditions 2 .
Clinical sign and symptoms of anemia5, 6
The following clinical signs (table 1) are helpful in a patient with anaemia. These patients often have a compensatory tachycardia, with a bounding pulse from high-volume circulation 5 . The symptoms of anemia will vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, and the underlying health problems they are discuss in separate individual type anemia. Symptoms common to many types of anemia are included in table 2: