Anemia

Definition

Hematocrite = 42%, Hemoglobin = 14 in males and

Hematocrite = 37% Hemoglobin 12 in females

Types

The normal physiological reaction to anemia is to increase bone marrow production of red cells. This is manifested by an increased reticulocytic count (a normal reaction).

In its simplest form anemia is ether:

1. Anemia without an increase in absolute reticulocyte count

This means that the bone marrow is not reacting as it should. This is the case when anemia is caused by bone marrow dysfunction or inability to produce red cells due to inadequate resources (e.g. iron).

2. Anemia with increased absolute reticulocyte count

This means that the patient has a healthy bone marrow which is reacting to the anemia as it should but not able to compensate it. Anemia here is caused by factors outside the bone marrow such as blood loss or destruction (hemolysis).

Absolute reticulocyte count = % of reticulocytes x RBC count and should be </= 100,000

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