Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic Anemia

What is hemolytic anemia?
Hemolytic anemia is a disorder in which the red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can produce them. The term for destruction of red blood cells is hemolysis. There are two types of hemolytic anemia, intrinsic and extrinsic.

Some types of extrinsic hemolytic anemia are temporary and resolve over several months. Other types can become chronic with periods of remissions and recurrence.

What are the symptoms of hemolytic anemia?

The following are the most common symptoms of hemolytic anemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of hemolytic anemia may resemble other blood conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How is hemolytic anemia diagnosed?

Hemolytic anemia may be suspected from general findings on a complete medical history and physical examination, such as complaints of tiring easily, pale skin and lips, or a fast heartbeat (tachycardia). In addition to a complete physical examination, your doctor may order the following diagnostic tests:

Treatment for hemolytic anemia

Specific treatment for hemolytic anemia will be determined by your doctor based on:

The treatment for hemolytic anemia will vary depending on the cause of the illness. Treatment may include:

In more severe cases, the following treatments may be necessary and usually require hospitalization:

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