Cynthia Chicas July 19th 2010 Dr. Youseff Anemia Anemia is a blood disease where the body does not produce enough red blood cells. Each red blood cell carries hemoglobin (oxygen) to all tissues of the body and also removes carbon dioxide waste by carrying it to the lungs to be exhaled. When a person has Anemia they have less amount of hemoglobin or oxygen in their blood. Anemia is one of the most common blood disorder and can cause many problems with the body. There are many different forms of anemia such as aplastic anemia, folic acid deficiency anemia, iron deficiency anemia and pernicious anemia.
In aplastic anemia the body’s bone marrow (a spongy tissue that is inside the bones) does not produce new or enough red blood cells, white cells or platelets. Aplitic anemia is a rare disorder that can be acquired or inherited. Diagnosing aplastic anemia your doctor will set up two bone marrow test bone marrow aspiration test and a bone marrow biopsy to check if the body is making enough red blood cells. In the bone marrow aspiration test the doctor will remove small amounts of bone marrow with a needle to examine the blood to see if the body is making enough blood cells.
In the bone marrow biopsy the doctor will remove small amounts of bone marrow tissue with a needle to check the numbers of blood cells in the marrow. In most cases the cause of aplastic anemia is unknown. In the United States about 500 to 1,000 people develop Aplitic anemia each year and it is more common in people of Asian descent. The only available treatments for Aplastic Anemia would be blood transfusions, blood and marrow stem cell transplants, and medication. Another form of anemia is folic acid deficiency anemia.
Folic acid anemia is caused be lack of folic acid due to a poor diet. Women who become pregnant need to make sure they have enough folic acid in their diet due to lack of folic acid can cause birth defects. Folic acid deficiency anemia is diagnosed with a blood test to check the levels of folic acid levels as well as the levels of B12 because some people who have low levels of folic acid also have low levels of B12. People affected by this type of Anemia are pregnant women, alcoholics and who take some types of medications on a daily basis such as birth control pills.
Folic acid anemia deficiency is easily treated with daily oral floate tablets. Another form of anemia would be iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. This type of anemia is caused by not having enough iron in the blood. Red blood cells need iron to produce hemoglobin or oxygen. It can be caused by not enough iron in a persons diet or blood lost; like in women’s menstrual cycle. This type of Anemia is most common in women especially while pregnant . This type of anemia can be easily taken care of by taking iron supplements.
Pernicious anemia is a form of anemia where the body has decrease levels of red blood cells because it cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12 is an important and necessary vitamin for the proper development of red blood cells. It is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein produced by the stomach that binds together with B12. When the stomach does nto produce enough intrinsic factor the intestines cannot absorb vitamin B12. Depending on how severe the anemia is treatments would be monthly injections of vitamin B12.
As a nurse it is important to be able to listen to our patients symptoms to figure out if they have any form of anemia. Symptoms for Anemia would be feeling weak, tired, light headed, and forgetful, having problems concentrating and having a short temper. We need to also ask about their family history with anemia. After our patients get tested we need to be able to exam the results of the test they took and help them understand their condition and how to treat it. With good communication with our patients they will be able to control their anemia.
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