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Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Doctor (MD)
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What is the danger of being anemic for to long

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What are the dangers of having chronic iron deficient anemia for a long time? When do you know if you need a blood transfusion?

Optional Information:
Female , Age: 38

Already Tried:
Iron supplements and iron infusions of venifur from the hospital

Anemia occurs when the body is unable to produce enough red blood cells, which results in a decrease in the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all parts of the body. When hemoglobin levels are decreased, less oxygen can be carried throughout the body. The decreased delivery of oxygen causes symptoms like fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and may cause the skin to appear pale.
Severe anemia can cause low oxygen levels in vital organs such as the heart and can lead to heart attack. You can read more about anemia at the links below.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Thats great information but how long could you go or how low would your H&H have to be to need blood? I guess what I'm aking is how symptomatic would you have to be?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Liz's Post: What I'm asking is how low would your H&H need to be for you to need blood? If you are having palpitations, weakness, and trouble breathing at different times but your H&H is 8 & 27 does that mean you need bood or just venifer.
hematocrit is normally between 40.7-50.3% for males and between 36.1-44.3% for females.
Hemoglobin is 12 to 18 grams per deciliter (100 milliliters) of blood.
So anything below these levels would be considered anemic.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Liz's Post: Thanks for the reply but I know the values of normal for and H&H I just wanted to know when you would be considered low enough to need blood? And what is too low.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
The so called expert answered the question to what is anemia. That's not what I asked. The question was what are the dangers of being anemic to long and when would you need a blood transfusion.
Dear Deb,

Here is the answer to your question.

The dangers of being anemic for too long is that you start having a
lower threshhold for exercise and activity. You are possibly at a
slightly increased risk for infections. Fatigue and irritability creep
in, and the performance of various body organs (like the brain/ heart
etc.) becomes sub-optimal, this is due to a decrease in the oxygen
carrying capacity of the blood, leading to a 'starvation' of the
various organs for oxygen.

Coming to your second question.. when will a blood transfusion be needed?

This is slightly difficult to answer since it depends on a lot of
variables. The general rule of thumb is that ONLY if a patient is
suffering from a hemodynamic compromise (meaning that the heart /
lungs/ Blood pressure) is getting significantly affected, or in a
person who has an underlying pronbelm (like cancer, severe infection,
heart or lung disease) wherein a low hemoglobin can affect the chances
of survival.

Most otherwise 'healthy' walking people who have a even a VERY LOW
hematocrit (as low as even 15, hb of even 5) may not be given a blood
transfusion without determining the cause.

In an acute injury with blood loss however even an Hb of around 7-8 may
lead to a transfusion since the body has had no time to adjust to the
fall in the hemoglobin. While in a chronic disease (like iron
deficiency, hemolytic anemia, slow blood loss) the body is able to
adjust to much lower values with out the need for a blood transfusion.

The reson why we do not transfuse more frequently is because of the
potential risks of infections that may occur during either their window
period (when tests maybe neggative) or some unknown diseases that we
may not yet be aware of.

So that is the answer then...

Please ACCEPT the reply, and give a BONUS if it was useful. If you
need more information, just let me know.


Dr. Gupta

Dr. Gupta, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 7966
Experience: Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.
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