Hemolytic Anemia Caused by the Destruction of Red Blood Cells in the Body

Hemolytic Anemia Caused by the Destruction of Red Blood Cells in the Body

Hemolytic anemia is the condition in which the bone marrow in the body is not able to keep up with the production of red blood cells which are being prematurely destroyed by the body. Healthy red blood cells normally last between one hundred and one hundred and twenty days.

However, with hemolytic anemia these cells are destroyed at a much faster rate and the bone marrow simply can not produce these cells fast enough to replace them. There are several different types of hemolytic anemia which are classified by what is causing the destruction of red blood cells in the body.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors of Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic anemia can be caused by either intrinsic or extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factor is when the red blood cells themselves are abnormal which is typically hereditary and seen at birth such as in cases of sickle cell anemia where these “sickle cells” only last ten to twenty days and the bone marrow can not replace them fast enough with new cells.

Extrinsic factors are factors outside of the cells which cause them to be destroyed such as certain virus’s including malaria and black-water fever, medications-which is known as drug induced hemolytic anemia-, an abnormal immune system response, or blood clots.

Treatment of Hemolytic Anemia

Treatment of this type of anemia varies widely depending upon which type the individual has. Treatments may include trying to control the cause of the anemia, medications to increase the red blood cell count, or trying to reduce the rate in which the cells are being destroyed.

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In mild cases this condition may need no treatment at all as long as the red blood cell count remains stable. In more severe cases blood transfusions or a “blood and marrow stem cell transplant” may be required.