2014 1A2 Group 3 - Anaemia

Page history last edited by 2014class1a2group3 9 years, 2 months ago

Team members


Names / Roles:

  • [Keiren]      (Leader)
  • [Glenda]     (Editor)
  • [Erynn]       (Researcher)
  • [Ameer]     (Researcher)



Meaning / Definition

Anaemia develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. This can happen if: 


  • Your body doesn't make enough red blood cells
  • Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced
  • Your body destroys red blood cells.


'Fun' Fact: Anaemia is the most common blood condition in the U.S. It affects about 3.5 million Americans. Women and people with chronic diseases are at increased risk of anaemia.





Causes and Effects


Certain forms of anaemia are hereditary and infants may be affected from the time of birth. Women in the childbearing years are particularly susceptible to iron-deficiency anaemia because of the blood loss from menstruation and the increased blood supply demands during pregnancy. Older adults also may have a greater risk of developing anaemia because of poor diet and other medical conditions.


There are more than 400 types of anaemia, which are divided into three groups:

  • Anaemia caused by blood loss
  • Anaemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production
  • Anaemia caused by destruction of red blood cells


Anaemia Caused By Blood Loss

Red blood cells can be lost through bleeding, which can occur slowly over a long period of time, and can often go undetected. This kind of chronic bleeding commonly results from the following:


  • Gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), and cancer 
  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirinor ibuprofen, which can cause ulcers and gastritis 
  • Menstruation and childbirth in women, especially if menstrual bleeding is excessive and if there are multiple pregnancies


Anaemia Caused by Decreased or Faulty Red Blood Cell Production

With this type of anaemia, the body may produce too few blood cells or the blood cells may not function correctly. In either case, anaemia can result. Red blood cells may be faulty or decreased due to abnormal red blood cells or a lack of minerals and vitamins needed for red blood cells to work properly. Conditions associated with these causes of anaemia include the following:


  •   Sickle cell anaemia
  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Bone marrow and stem cell problems
  • Other health conditions


Sickle Cell Anaemia

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder that affects African-Americans. Red blood cells become crescent-shaped because of a genetic defect. They break down rapidly, so oxygen does not get to the body's organs, causing anemia. The crescent-shaped red blood can cells also get stuck in tiny blood vessels, causing pain.



Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f2/Iron_deficiency_anemia_blood_film.jpg/800px-Iron_deficiency_anemia_blood_film.jpg)

Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXgahoAmOyk&feature=youtu.be)



Signs and Symptoms


Anemia goes undetected in many people, and symptoms can be minor or vague. The signs and symptoms can be related to the underlying cause or the anemia itself.


     1. Most commonly, people with anemia report feelings of weakness, or fatigue, general malaise, and sometimes poor concentration. They may also report dyspnea (shortness of breath) on exertion. In very severe anemia, the body may compensate for the lack of oxygen-carrying capability of the blood by increasing cardiac output. The patient may have symptoms related to this, such as palpitations, angina (if pre-existing heart disease is present), intermittent claudication of the legs, and symptoms of heart failure.



     2. On examination, the signs exhibited may include pallor (pale skin, lining mucosa, conjunctiva and nail beds), but this is not a reliable sign. There may be signs of specific causes of anemia, e.g., koilonychia (in iron deficiency), jaundice (when anemia results from abnormal break down of red blood cells — in hemolytic anemia), bone deformities (found in thalassemia major) or leg ulcers (seen in sickle-cell disease).


     3. In severe anemia, there may be signs of a hyperdynamic circulation: tachycardia (a fast heart rate), bounding pulse, flow murmurs, and cardiac ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement). There may be signs of heart failure.


     4. Pica, the consumption of non-food items such as ice, but also paper, wax, or grass, and even hair or dirt, may be a symptom of iron deficiency, although it occurs often in those who have normal levels of hemoglobin.


     5. Chronic anemia may result in behavioral disturbances in children as a direct result of impaired neurological development in infants, and reduced scholastic performance in children of school age. Restless legs syndrome is more common in those with iron-deficiency anemia.





Prevention and Treatment

Mild to moderate iron-deficiency anaemia is treated by oral iron supplementation with ferrous sulfateferrous fumarate, or ferrous gluconate. When taking iron supplements, stomach upset and/or darkening of the faeces are commonly experienced. The stomach upset can be alleviated by taking the iron with food; however, this decreases the amount of iron absorbed.Vitamin C aids in the body's ability to absorb iron, so taking oral iron supplements with orange juice is of benefit.

In anaemias of chronic disease, associated with chemotherapy, or associated with renal disease, some clinicians prescribe recombinant erythropoietin or epoetin alfa, to stimulate RBC production, although since there is also concurrent iron deficiency and inflammation present, parenteral iron is advised to be taken concurrently.


(Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemia#Treatments)



Link to Other Illnesses or Diseases

REad More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemia



Red blood cell: http://www.pkdiet.com/images/pkdanemia/anemia.png

Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/basics/causes/con-20026209

Webmd: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics

Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f2/Iron_deficiency_anemia_blood_film.jpg/800px-Iron_deficiency_anemia_blood_film.jpg

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXgahoAmOyk&feature=youtu.be

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemia#Treatments





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