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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have microcytic anemia. Do I need blood transfusion?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

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Posted on Thu, 13 Dec 2012 in Blood Disorders
Question: i have hgb 72 and the range is 120-160 My mcv was also low at 66.4 and hct low at 0.224 and rbc at 3.38 my doctor says I have microcytic anemia and I have to do tests like right now. I feel fine-I work and go to the gym every day-of course I am tired but who isn't? he told me normally people with hgb 72 need blood transfusions is this true?
I went to work today but cannot concentrate because I am worried-should I go to hospital and do all these colon/blood etc tests right now? do I need to fast?
Like I said I also have a hole in my septum that is irrepairable-I took CT scan -I feel as though there is a major block there-like something needs to be removed-could the anemia be a result of a sinus condition?I still feel I need an operation on my sinuses to remove a major block but no surgeon will do it.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 8 hours later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Anemia is a reduction in red cell mass.It can occur suddenly as in acute blood loss or gradually.When it occurs gradually the body puts compensatory mechanisms in place and as a result of this compensation, you do not have many or any symptoms that are normally associated with anemia.
Anemia occurs basically if there is decreased production of red cells, increased destruction or blood loss.
There are different types and causes, the classification results from looking at the MCV and MCH.In your case both of these are low so it is classified as micocytic (cells smaller), hypochromic (cells lighter) than normal.

It may not be caused by anything lifethreatening but the test are just to determine the exact cause.

Some of the causes of microcytic anemia are (1) iron deficiency - this is actually the most common cause
(2) chronic inflammation-some persons with chronic conditions may have this type of anemia eg persons with kidney failure
(3) lead poisoning
(4)thalassemia- this is a genetic condition with abnormal haemoglobin

Further tests like checking the level of iron in the blood, the ferritin level (this stores and releases iron), the capacity to bind iron would provide more information to determine the reason for the microcytic anemia.

The rule of thumb presently is that every patient with iron deficiency anemia should be assessed for occult blood.The diagnosis of iron def anemia is assumed to be bleeding unless other causes can be proven. So your doctor is just complying with what is standard medical practice.
You can do the tests in the time suggested by the doctor.

In terms of the sinuses, it is unlikely that the condition of your sinuses would have a major impact on your blood count.

I hope this helps and I hope that the tests go well.
Feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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