2 billion people suffer from anemia
It's the most common reason why doctors give patients blood transfusions
Anemia and the Bloodless Patient
This article is an introduction to anemia and Bloodless Surgery. It explains why anemia is such a grave concern to surgeons. With easy to understand word illustrations some of the complexities of anemia are simplified for the average reader.
Folate-deficiency anemia (also called megaloblastic anemia) is a deficiency in red blood cells (anemia) due to a lack of folate (vitamin B9). Folate is necessary for red blood cell formation and growth. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues and organs in the body and a deficiency in oxygen carrying capacity is of critical concern to a Bloodless Surgeon or Blood Conservationist.
'Vitamin K deficiency anemia'
New research reveals that vitamin K deficiency is more rampant than believed. Men and woman can be affected and it could afflict millions. But not much has been said about this root cause of iron deficiency anemia. It may damage women more seriously than is believed.
How is it connected to iron deficiency anemia and how can it be cured? Foods in our daily diet may help cure this anemia but other common foods may aggravate it. What is menorrhgia and what is its link to vitamin K deficiency and iron deficiency anemia? Ironically a lack of vitamin K can cause anemia but too much can cause anemia as well.
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This anemia is not curable but it is treatable. However, a long list of over-the-counter medications and some of the most common prescription medicines can aggravate pernicious anemia. A Bloodless Patient needs to cooperate with their Bloodless Physician and work to treat this disease. It’s not hard once the basics are understood.
Iron deficiency anemia
This is said to be the most common form of anemia. It is easily treatable prior to Bloodless Surgery. In fact, some feel that with iron infusions blood transfusions will become a thing of the past. In the meantime what can a Bloodless Patient do to alleviate iron deficiency anemia? Is diet enough? What are the consequences of not treating it?
Bloodless Medicine, Anemia and the Elderly
If a physician tells you that you have anemia just because you are old, then perhaps it is time to search for a new doctor, one that is up to date with current research into the relationship between advanced age and anemia. Anemia is not a consequence of old age any more than a change in taste of clothing is a sign of declining or increasing IQ.
B12 deficiency Anemia
B12 deficiency anemia or Macrocytic anemia is generally caused by a diet lacking sufficient folic acid (vitamin B12). Folic acid is crucial in the formation of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the body’s cells. When the production of new red blood cells is insufficient then the red blood cell count eventually drops below normal. This condition is called anemia. When the body’s ability to transport oxygen is impaired then the patient suffers lethargy and other symptoms.
Certain types of anemia may be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated
One-third to one-half of patients scheduled for surgery may be anemic
About 2 billion people worldwide suffer from anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type and usually easily treatable
More women suffer from anemia than men
Some anemias affect more elderly men than women
Anemia is not caused by old age - it is a symptom of disease
Bloodless Surgery is routinely performed on anemic patients
National Anemia Action Council Advisory
"Avoid transfusion regardless of the level of preoperative anemia."
"Allogeneic blood transfusion should be avoided whenever possible, not only because of associated risks but also because transfusion has not been proven to improve postoperative outcomes."
"Women were 44.6 percent more likely to receive a blood transfusion than the men. Of the 150 women studied, 149 (99 percent) received donor blood during their hospitalization, compared to 77 percent of the men."
More women die in hospitals
Women get many more transfusions than men.
Is there a link?
Can a nine month old baby have anemia?
Yes. Just like an adult. A baby can even be born with anemia.
The treatment can be similar depending on the type of anemia.
Can a two month old toddler have Bloodless Surgery?
Yes. Surgeries on infants are performed without the use of blood. Bloodless Surgey is for evryone, even tiny babies.
Can EPO be given to infants?
Yes. This incredible drug is used to treat small infants in order to boost red cell production.
Learn more about these subjects in future articles.
Listen to the experts
"Anemia is ignored in most developing countries even though it is one of the most prevalent public health problems and has serious consequences for national development." -The World Bank
"One-third to one-half of surgical patients may be anemic preoperatively because of conditions for which they require surgery." -National Anemia Action Council
"Anemia is neither normal nor harmless and may have far-reaching effects." -National Anemia Action Council
"Diagnostic testing is an important cause of blood loss in critically ill patients. Blood samples for diagnostic testing are commonly taken up to 24 times per day depending on patient illness acuity, ease of sampling and institutional practice. The reduction of blood loss associated with diagnostic testing seems a logical, proximate intervention and may reduce the burden of anemia among critically ill patients." -Canadian Medical Association Journal
"The studies by Hebert et al.and Dietrich et al. have raised questions regarding the validity of the historic assumption that RBC transfusion is beneficial for all critically ill patients with anemia."
-The CRIT Study: Anemia and Blood Transfusion
"Worldwide, $50 billion in GDP is lost annually in low-Estimates of Economic Losses from Iron Deficiency Anemia." -The World Bank
"Older concepts about oxygen transport to tissues, wound healing, and 'nutritional value' of blood are being abandoned. Experience with patients demonstrates that severe anemia is well tolerated." -The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
"Despite the magnitude of blood use in the elderly, it is uncertain, indeed unlikely, that standard guidelines are followed in transfusing the patient who is elderly." -The American Society for Clinical Pathology
Hospital photo by Abraham