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Health Information For Parents
Anemia is when the number of red blood cells in the body gets too low. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Without enough red blood cells, oxygen doesn’t get to the body’s organs. Without enough oxygen, the organs can’t work normally.
Hemolytic (hee-muh-LIT-ik) anemia is a type of anemia that happens when red blood cells break down faster than the body can make them.
Depending on the type of hemolytic anemia, symptoms can be mild or very severe. There are treatments that can help.
Symptoms of hemolytic anemia may be mild and slowly get worse, or become severe quickly. Someone with hemolytic anemia might:
(yellow skin and eyes)
There are many different causes for hemolytic anemia. Some causes are inherited (passed from parents to children) and some are not.
The inherited hemolytic anemias include:
Hemolytic anemias that are not inherited include:
Doctors usually can diagnose hemolytic anemia by:
Treatment for hemolytic anemia depends on the cause. A hematologist (a doctor who treats blood problems) helps children with hemolytic anemia get the treatment they need. These treatments may include:
Sometimes hemolytic anemia goes away with treatment and never comes back. But in some children, it causes ongoing medical problems. Many of these are treatable. The hematologist can help parents understand the details of their child’s hemolytic anemia and recommend the best treatment.
If your child has hemolytic anemia, you can help by:
Anemia happens when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in the body. It can be caused by many things, including dietary problems, medical treatments, and inherited conditions.
Anemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body needs more nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia and how it’s treated.
Aplastic anemia happens when the body can’t make enough blood cells. A person can develop anemia, infections, and bleeding. Treatments can help with most kinds of aplastic anemia.
Iron helps the body carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in brain and muscle function. Too little iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
What does it mean when a kid has anemia? Learn about anemia, why kids get it, and how it’s treated in our article for kids.
Alpha thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing alpha globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Beta thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing beta globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out how to help your child.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
Sickle cell disease is a disease of the blood. Red blood cells are shaped like sickles, and can get stuck, especially inside smaller blood vessels.
Hereditary spherocytosis is an inherited blood disorder. Treatments can help with symptoms.
Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. A hemoglobin test can be done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems and or because a child isn’t feeling well.
Doctors may order a ferritin test when they suspect kids have too little or too much iron in their bodies.
This test measures the rate at which reticulocytes (immature red blood cells) are made in the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. A reticulocyte count can provide information about a child’s anemia.
G6PD deficiency an inherited condition in which someone doesn’t have enough of the enzyme G6PD, which protects red blood cells.
About 5 million people a year get blood transfusions in the United States. This article explains why people need them and who donates the blood used.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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