Haemolytic Anaemia

Also Known As:

What is Haemolytic Anaemia?

Haemolytic Anaemia is a blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan has completed. This leads to a lack of healthy red blood cells needed to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body.


The immediate cause of Haemolytic Anaemia is the early destruction of red blood cells. Several diseases, conditions, and factors can cause the body to destroy its red blood cells. These causes can be inherited or acquired. In some cases, the exact cause of Haemolytic Anaemia cannot be determined.

In inherited Haemolytic Anaemias, the genes that control how red blood cells are made are faulty. Different types of faulty genes account for the different types of inherited Haemolytic Anaemias. In each type of inherited Haemolytic Anaemia, the body makes abnormal red blood cells. The problem with the red blood cells may involve the haemoglobin, cell membrane, or enzymes that maintain healthy red blood cells.

In acquired Haemolytic Anaemias, the body makes normal red blood cells, however, some disease, condition, or other factor destroys the cells too early. Examples include immune disorders, infections and reactions to medicines or blood transfusions.


The most common symptom of Haemolytic Anaemias is fatigue. Other symptoms include:
•   Shortness of breath
•   Dizziness
•   Headaches
•   Coldness in your hands or feet
•   Pale skin, gums and nail beds
•   Chest pains
•   Jaundice
•   Pain in the upper abdomen
•   Leg ulcers and pain
•   A severe reaction to a blood transfusion

Diagnosis & Treatment

Haemolytic Anaemia is diagnosed by a Doctor using a physical examination and blood tests.

People who have mild Haemolytic Anaemia may not need treatment, as long as the condition doesn’t get worse. People with severe Haemolytic Anaemia usually need ongoing treatment.
Treatments for Haemolytic Anaemia include blood transfusions, medicines, plasmapheresis, surgery, blood and marrow stem cell transplants and lifestyle changes.

Additional Information

There are various types of Haemolytic Anaemias – some of which are inherited and others that are acquired. These include:
•   Sickle Cell Anaemia
•   Thalassaemias Anaemia
•   Immune Haemolytic Anaemia
•   Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia
•   Alloimmune Haemolytic Anaemia
•   Drug-induced Haemolytic Anaemia
•   Mechanical Haemolytic Anaemias

Also see: Anaemia

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Published Date:

7th December 2018


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