Essay Red Blood Cell and E.g. Sickle-cell Anemia

1701 Words Nov 19th, 2005 7 Pages
Anemia is not considerate to be a specific disease; it is a manifestation of many abnormal conditions. Some of the abnormal conditions that causes

anemia include dietary deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid; hereditary disorders; bone marrow damaged by toxins, radiation, or chemotherapy; renal disease; malignancy; chronic infection; overactive spleen; or bleeding from a tract or organ. The incidence of anemia in the world is very high. More than 50% of the world suffers from anemia. Anemia is characterized by a deficiency in red blood cells or in the concentration of hemoglobin (iron-containing portions of red blood cells). These deficiencies are caused by either decreased production or increased
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When symptoms do develop, they are pretty much what you would expect given the precarious state of oxygen delivery to the tissues: dyspnea on exertion, easy fatigability, fainting, lightheadedness, tinnitus, and headache. In addition, the hyperdynamic state of the circulatory system can produce palpitations and roaring in the ears. Pre-existing cardiovascular pathologic conditions are, as you would expect, exacerbated by the anemia. Angina pectoris, intermittent claudication, and night muscle cramps speak to the effect of anemia on already compromised perfusion.
Clinical signs of a slowly developed anemia are pallor, tachycardia, and a systolic ejection murmur. In rapidly developing anemia (as from hemorrhage and certain catastrophic hemolytic anemias), additional symptoms and signs are noted: syncope on rising from bed, orthostatic hypotension (i.e., the blood pressure falls when the patient is raised from the supine to the sitting or standing positions) and orthostatic tachycardia. Keep in mind that if anemia develops through rapid enough bleeding, the hematocrit and hemoglobin will be normal (since in hemorrhage the rbc's and plasma are lost in proportion). Because of this, your appreciation of these clinical signs will serve you better in diagnosing this type of anemia than will the laboratory. Anemia can be difficult to identify because early symptoms may be mild. In addition, it is

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