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Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs when there are fewer red blood cells than normal, or there is a low concentration of hemoglobin in the blood.
Anemia is often a symptom of a disease rather than a disease itself. Anemia usually develops due to the presence of one of the following:
Most symptoms of anemia are a result of the decrease of oxygen in the cells or "hypoxia." Because red blood cells, as hemoglobin, carry oxygen, a decreased production or number of these cells result in "hypoxia." Many of the symptoms will not be present with mild anemia, as the body can often compensate for gradual changes in hemoglobin.
The following are the most common symptoms for anemia. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following:
The symptoms of anemia may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems. Because anemia is often a symptom associated with another disease, it is important for your child's physician to be aware of symptoms he/she may be experiencing. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Generally, anemia may be caused by several problems, including the following:
Anemia may be suspected from general findings on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child, such as complaints of tiring easily, pale skin and lips, or a fast heartbeat (tachycardia). Anemia is usually discovered during a medical examination through blood tests that measure the concentration of hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for anemia may include:
Specific treatment for anemia will be determined by your child's physician based on the following:
Anemia can be difficult to treat and may include:
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Online Resources of Hematology & Blood Disorders
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