Hemolytic Anemia Care in NJ, CT, and MD

Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Hemolytic anemia is a condition that destroys red blood cells faster than new ones can be produced in the bone marrow. This imbalance deprives organs and tissues of adequate levels of the oxygen that provides people with energy. As a result, people with hemolytic anemia often experience intense fatigue.

The hematology physicians practicing at Regional Cancer Care Associates’ many locations across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area provide patients with expert care in diagnosing and treating hemolytic anemia.

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Causes of Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic anemia can be divided into two main categories, depending on its underlying cause:

Inherited

This form of hemolytic anemia occurs when one or multiple genes that help govern red blood cell production have defects that cause red blood cells to be destroyed sooner than they normally would be. Sickle cell disease is one form of inherited hemolytic anemia.

Acquired

People who develop hemolytic anemia in the years following birth – sometimes many, many years later – typically are not predisposed to the condition through a genetic defect. Rather, they may develop the condition due to causes including:

  • Infections
  • Mechanical heart valves
  • Medications
  • Hypersplenism
  • Blood cancers
  • Tumors
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome
  • Hepatitis
  • Tumors
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Blood transfusion with an incompatible blood type

Hemolytic Anemia Symptoms

Some cases of hemolytic anemia can be acute, lasting for a few months and going away on their own. Other cases can be chronic. For those with chronic hemolytic anemia, symptoms may disappear from time to time, but they eventually return. Symptoms of hemolytic anemia can include:

  • Heart murmur
  • Paleness or lack of skin color
  • Increased heart rate
  • Yellowing mouth, skin, and eyes
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Dark urine
  • Inability to complete physical activities
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sore tongue

Hemolytic anemia symptoms can vary from person to person. Some patients may experience significant symptoms, while others may not have any. In addition, many of these symptoms can mimic those of other anemic conditions or disorders. To determine which blood-related disease a patient has, doctors conduct various tests to make a definitive diagnosis.

Diagnosing Hemolytic Anemia

The first step toward diagnosis involves assessing the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family medical history. This evaluation helps identify whether hemolytic anemia may be caused by genetic factors or related illnesses. Physicians also may order one or more tests, including:

  • Urine test: Hemoglobin and iron are two elements of red blood cells. Urine holds a certain amount of these elements, and testing can determine if their levels in the urine are healthy or abnormal. If a urine test shows a lack of hemoglobin or iron, this can indicate the presence of hemolytic
  • Complete blood count (CBC) test: Doctors use this blood test to look at red and white blood cell counts and platelet levels. Patients with hemolytic anemia typically have a lower-than-normal red blood cell count.
  • Additional blood tests: If a CBC indicates that the patient may have an anemic disorder, additional blood testing can determine the type and severity of the patient’s condition.
  • Bone marrow biopsy: Using a small needle, doctors take a sample of the patient’s bone marrow, typically from a large joint in the body. This sample shows the number of a patient’s red blood cells in the marrow, where blood cells are formed. If a sample shows a low count of red blood cells, the patient most likely has an anemic condition.

Treatment for Hemolytic Anemia at Regional Cancer Care Associates

The hematology physicians and other experienced health care professionals at Regional Cancer Care Associates are here for patients with hemolytic anemia. Based on the type, severity, and symptoms of the condition, RCCA physicians create individualized treatment plans that may consist of:

  • Medications
  • Blood transfusions
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Vitamins or supplements
  • Surgical removal of the spleen

With a patient-centered approach to care, Regional Cancer Care Associates has the tools and knowledge to treat a variety of non-cancer-related blood disorders. To learn more about our services in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. area, contact us today.

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Schedule an Appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates

If you need near-term or ongoing care for anemia or another benign blood disorder, schedule an appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates. Patients have access to a full range of services across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area, making it easy to find a location convenient for you. Contact us today to learn more about our benign hematology services.

 

Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.