Acute Blood Loss Anemia
What is Acute Blood Loss Anemia?
Acute blood loss anemia, also called hemorrhagic anemia, is specific type of anemia that sufficient decrease in red blood cells (RBC) due to acute hemorrhage (bleeding). Within the first 1-2 days of an acute major hemorrhage the patient suffers mainly from a blood volume depletion and from the effects of a decreased perfusion pressure in various tissues. If the hemorrhage becomes controlled an acute blood loss anemia develops.
The average adult has a total blood volume of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 ml (milliliters) and can usually lose 500 ml of blood without serious or lasting effects; but, if the loss reaches 1,000 ml or more, serious acute consequences may result. If >30-40% of blood is lost, acute blood loss can lead to shock and even death and the hypovolemia that develops is not treated aggressively with IV fluids or compatible blood. Blood loss can be as a result of very heavy menstrual periods. Most women lose about 44 ml of blood per cycle, but some may lose considerably more. Blood loss also occurs during childbirth or during major surgical procedures. Certain health issues may also contribute to iron loss, including chronic bleeding of the gums, hemorrhoids, or cancer of the stomach.
What're causes of blood loss anemia?
The cause of blood loss anemia is due to the body’s inability to transfer oxygen or nutrients to the organs without the presence of red blood cells. Large blood loss in life-threatening situation such as traumatic injury, massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage, such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) and cancer, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, ruptured aneurysms, and disseminated intravascular coagulation.
What're symptoms of blood loss anemia?
Signs and symptoms of blood loss anemia include rapid onset of pale, moist skin, fingernail beds and mucous membranes, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal dysfunction, weakness, tachycardia, hypotension, chest pain, increased respiratory rate, rapid onset of fever and evidence of blood loss either externally or internally.
How is treatment of blood loss anemia?
Treatment of blood loss anemia includes immediate measures to stop bleeding (both internally and externally), restoring blood volume through intravenous (IV) administration of saline, dextran, albumin, or plasma. For large blood losses, transfusion of fresh whole blood is the treatment of choice. The anemia itself does not require specific therapy unless it is associated with iron, folate, or cobalamin (B12) deficiency. A normal erythrocyte count is usually evident within four to six weeks, but hemoglobin restoration can take up to eight weeks. Chronic blood loss is treated by identifying the source of bleeding, stopping the bleeding, and, if necessary, giving treatment for iron-deficiency anemia.