Anemia_NW - Learning Issue: Anemia Name: Nicole Wood...

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Learning Issue: Anemia Name: Nicole Wood *Anemia is defined as a reduction of red blood cells circulating in the blood ***Anemia should not be considered a diagnosis, but a finding that warrants further investigation, and its appearance necessitates identification of the underlying cause*** *Once in the bloodstream, lead can damage red blood cells and limit their ability to carry oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it, thus causing anemia. -Lucy’s anemia is most likely due to the lead in her blood damaging the RBCs, rather than due to an iron deficiency *Anemia is not always caused by an iron deficiency *The use of the mean corpuscular volume (size of RBCs) to classify the anemia as microcytic, normocytic or macrocytic is a standard diagnostic approach -Microcytic : McV < 80 fL (small sized RBCs, and is usually coupled with hypochromic anemia, meaning that the red blood cells are paler than usual because of a decrease in hemoglobin) -Normocytic : McV 80-100 fL (normal sized RBCs, but low amount) -Macrocytic : McV > 100 fL (large sized RBCs) *In Lucy’s case, her McV was 27 fL, making her anemia microcytic *The most common form of microcytic anemia is iron deficiency caused by reduced dietary intake. *Less common causes of microcytosis are thalassemia and lead poisoning. *The causes of anemia varies by age, and is shown in the following table in regards to Lucy’s age range, Infancy to Toddlerhood: Infancy to toddlerhood [ 2] Iron deficiency Inadequate dietary intake, chronic occult blood loss Usually asymptomatic; severe cases can present with fatigue, pallor, or dyspnea; rarely occurs Microcytic anemia with elevated RBC distribution width; peripheral smear shows hypochromic
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Anemia_NW - Learning Issue: Anemia Name: Nicole Wood...

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