Friday, 11 May 2012

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Anemia is defined as "the inability of the blood to supply the tissue with adequate oxygen", which can be a common problem in females, malnourished individuals, chronic blood loss and anyone with absorption or retention problems (parasites).

Physically, symptoms can appear as pallor, dyspnea, light- headedness ,vertigo, muscle weakness, Headache and general lethargy.

As an MLT, Iron Deficiency or IDA, is a commonly seen illness you will need be able to identify. It is a total depletion of the body iron stores which leads to issues in RBC production. Recommended daily iron intake is 15 mg for females and 10 mg for males per day.

IDA is a hypochromic, macrocytic anemia. This will present as a low MCHC as well as a low MCV on a CBC. MCHC is Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration and will cause the cells to appear pale and have a larger central pallor. MCV is the Mean Cell Volume and is related to the overall size of cells. A normal RBC is between 80-100fl. If there is an Iron Deficiency anemia present, it will typically be around 80fl or lower.

[caption id="attachment_134" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Textbook presentation of IDA. Small microcytic RBC with marked hypochromasia (large central pallor)[/caption]


  1. also the rbc's colour is lighter than the regular rbc lol. I learned this in my third year clinical biochemistry course!

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