Anemia



Anemia is a qualitative or quantitative deficiency of hemoglobin, a molecule found inside red blood cells. Since hemoglobin normally carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anemia leads to lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences. Anemia is also caused by a lack of iron in the body.

The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis).

Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra.

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