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Hemolytic anemia: Treatment and its Prevention


This article is for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Seek medical care for your treatment.

Hemolytic anemia:

Hemolytic anemia is a blood disorder that kicks in when your red blood cells are tore down quickly than they can be recovered. Hemolytic anemia can occur swiftly or gradually and it can be mild or harsh.

Causes of hemolytic anemia:

It can be caused by some infections or if someone gets a blood transfusion from a donor whose blood type is not the right match. Hemolytic anemia can also be caused by inherited conditions that influence the red blood cells. 

Some conditions can lead to fast and frequent hemolysis, including the following:

  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Complications because of blood transfusions
  • Infections
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Certain medicines

Symptoms of hemolytic anemia:

Symptoms of hemolytic anemia vary from person to person because of the various causes of hemolytic anemia. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Dark urine
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Increased heart rate

What are the repercussions of not treating hemolytic anemia in right time?

Mild hemolytic anemia may not need treatment. Grave hemolytic anemia that is not treated or addressed in right time can cause uneven heart rhythms, a heart that is bigger than normal and heart failure if anemia gets severe. Unattended hemolytic anemia can lead to other heart conditions like arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy.

Hemolytic anemia in newborns:

Hemolytic anemia in the newborn occurs when a mother and baby have incompatible blood types, generally because of RH incompatibility. Erythroblatosis fetal is another name for this condition. Hemolytic anemia in newborns can really create a problem because the baby can become anemic, which creates further complications. There are treatments for this condition. They are red blood cell transfusions and IVIG. Doctors can prevent the condition by injecting woman a RhoGam shot. A woman may get this shot around her 28th week of pregnancy, if she has Rh-negative blood and has not been sensitized to an RH- positive fetus. If the baby is RH positive, then at 72 hours after delivery, the Rh-negative mother will need a second shot of RhoGam.

Hemolytic anemia in children and its treatment:

Hemolytic anemia is a group of disorders in which the red blood cells are quickly damaged than the bone marrow can create them. The term for destruction of red blood cells is hemolysis.

Treatment depends on your child’s symptoms, severity of the condition, age and general health. The child with hemolytic anemia is treated by a hematologist. Some children do not need treatment. Some do need treatment, which may include:

  • Blood transfusions
  • Corticosteroid
  • IVIG 
  • Rituximab
  • Antibiotics to treat the infection

In some children who do not respond to other therapy, certain treatments may be needed:

  • Splenectomy
  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Plasmapheresis
  • Stem cell transplant

Treatment of Hemolytic anemia:

Treatment for hemolytic anemia varies relying on the reason for anemia, age, severity of the condition, your health and your tolerance to some medications. Some of the treatment options for hemolytic anemia are:

  • Red blood cell transfusion
  • IVIG
  • corticosteroids
  • surgery
  1. red blood cell transfusion:

Red blood cell transfusion is given to enhance your red blood cell count and to restore damaged red blood cells with the new ones.

  1. IVIG:

If an immune process is leading to hemolytic anemia you may be given immunoglobin intravenously in the hospital to blunt the body’s immune system.

  1. Corticosteroids: 

You might be offered corticosteroids if your hemolytic anemia is an extrinsic kind caused by an autoimmune disease. They can lessen the activity of your immune system, which can help stop the destruction of red blood cells. The similar effect may be obtained with the use of other immunosuppressants.

  1. Surgery:

In serious cases, your spleen may need to be eradicated. The spleen is where red blood cells are damaged. Eliminating the spleen can lower how fast red blood cells are demolished. This is used as an option in cases of immune hemolysis that do not respond to corticosteroids or other immunosuppressants.


Hemolytic anemia may be because of various factors, most of which you can’t control. For instance, you can develop hemolytic anemia after being injured, or by inheriting certain conditions. You can minimize your risk for grave illness by talking to your doctor any time you develop symptoms that may be anemia. You can’t avoid inherited types of hemolytic anemia. A deficit in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is one exception. 

Avoid things that can trigger the condition if you are born with a G6PD deficiency. For example avoid fava beans, naphthalene and certain medicines as per your doctor’s advice. Certain types of hemolytic anemia can be prevented. Quick and proper prenatal care can help you avoid the issues of RH incompatibility. If a woman has Rh-negative blood and her unborn child has Rh-positive blood, this disorder may develop during pregnancy. The terms “Rh-positive” and “Rh-negative” describe the Rh factor in your blood. Red blood cells have a protein called Rh factor.
A baby or fetus with Rh incompatibility may develop hemolytic anemia.


Hemolytic anemia develops when something is damaging your red blood cells. This disorder indicates that you have an inherited medical condition or a medical issue caused by infection. You may be reacting to certain medications. Your doctor will try to find and treat the hidden cause. Quick treatment often makes a huge difference between good or worse. You know your body well. Immediately consult your doctor when you notice stubborn changes in your body. Diagnosis and right kind of treatment plays a crucial role in treating hemolytic anemia.

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