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RED BLOOD CELL DISORDERS

Red blood cell disorders impact the red blood cells which are the parts of blood that carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. A number of disorders can affect red blood cells, such as: Anemias (iron deficiency anemia, vitamin deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia etc.), polycythemia, thalassemia and cold agglutination.1

 

Some red blood cell disorders, such as iron deficiency anemia, are very common, while others, such as hemolytic disease of the newborn, are not.1

Anemia

Anemia indicates a deficiency of RBCs. It is a clinical sign, not a diagnosis. The terms that physicians may use to describe types of defective RBCs and anemias are listed and defined here as well as the most common anemia types.
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Cold Agglutinin Disease

This is a disorder in which RBCs – in their own serum or in other serum – clump together (agglutinate) in response to slight cooling (below 86°F/30°C).
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Polycythemia

Polycythemia vera is a rare, chronic disorder involving the overproduction of blood cells in the bone marrow (myeloproliferation). The overproduction of red blood cells is most dramatic, but the production of white blood cells and platelets are also elevated in most cases.
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1. Boston Childern’s Hospital. Red Blood Cell Disorders Symptoms & Causes. http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/r/red-blood-cell-disorders/symptoms-and-causes
2. Anaemia. https://www.who.int/topics/anaemia/en/

Image source: Alinity hq Casebook. Iron deficiency anemia. 2019. ADD-00061876-v2. p.22
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