HCA 240 WK 4 Blood Disorders | Anemia | Platelet

Blood Disorders HCA 240 Week 4 Instructor: Pamela Williams By: Marilyn Reeves

The blood serves as the body’s major transport system. It is the medium for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the cells and carbon dioxide waste from the cells to the lungs. Components of the blood protect the body from disease by recognizing and engulfing microorganisms and foreign molecules in the blood. Other components of the blood transport metabolic waste from the cells to the kidneys, nutrients from the digestive system to the cells, and hormones throughout the body.

Scenario One
Amy is a four-year-old Caucasian female with symptoms that are indicative of Iron Deficiency Anemia. This is one of the most common causes of anemia. Increased iron requirements, impaired iron absorption or hemorrhage can cause iron deficiency anemia. Without enough iron the body fails to synthesize hemoglobin and the ability to transport oxygen is reduces. Iron requirements are at the highest level during the first two years of life. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout our body and is a part of our red blood cell. If we do not have enough iron, our body makes fewer and smaller red blood cells, which means less hemoglobin, and therefore we do not get enough oxygen (WebMD, Iron Deficiency Anemia). If we do not receive the correct amount of oxygen to our organs, and cells, the body will begin to suffer and we will begin to experience symptoms such as feeling weak, growing tired much easier, skin looks pale, trouble concentrating, and shortness of breath. There are several causes or reasons an individual can develop anemia or low iron levels in the body such as pregnant women, small children and teens that require more iron and are not getting enough in the food they are eating. If a woman’s menstrual cycle is extremely heavy and a she looses too much blood this cause a drop in iron. The leading cause of this problem in men, and in women after menopause is bleeding inside the body.

Doctors can diagnose iron deficiency problems with blood tests. These my include a complete blood count to look at your red blood cells and an iron test that shows how much iron is in your blood. He may also do tests to find out what is causing the anemia. Your doctor will most likely treat you by having you take iron supplement pills. For prevention an individual can take a multivitamin and change their diet to include foods rich in iron. Most people begin to feel better after just a few days of taking the medication prescribed by their doctor, however this does not mean you should stop taking the pills. Your doctor will most likely want to test you periodically to stay on top of things and make sure you are improving. .

Scenario Two
Marcus is a 5-year-old African American male and is at risk to Sickle Cell Anemia due to the fact that his mother is a carrier. Sickle cell anemia is a genetically transmitted disorder marked by severe hemolytic anemia, episodes of painful crisis, and increased susceptibility to infections. Both defective genes must be inherited for the beta chain of hemoglobin (one from each parent). If only one is present the individual or child will be a carrier but will not have the disease. Approximately 10% of African Americans have the sickle cell trait or are heterozygous for the disorder. This disease is normally diagnosed at birth. There is no cure or prevention for this disease. There are medicines to available to help control the pain, and immunizations and daily doses of penicillin can help prevent infection. There is only one known cure and that is a bone marrow transplant. Due to the complex and risky procedure this remains an option for patients with severe complications (KidsHealth.org)

Scenario Three

Richard has noticed that he has more bruises all over his body. When he was coughing this morning tiny red marks appeared around his eyes. Richard has decided he needs to see his doctor to try and determine what could be the cause of the bruises and the tiny red marks around his eyes. His doctor has decided to test him for Thrombocytopenia. An abnormally small number of platelets, or thrombocytopenia, result from conditions that either impairs production, increase destruction, or cause sequestration of platelets. Regardless of cause, prolonged bleeding, results from minor and major trauma. Spontaneous hemorrhages are often-visible on the skin as small, flat, red spots called petechiae, or as larger purplish patches called ecchymosis. Spontaneous hemorrhages may also occur in the mucous membranes of the mouth and internal organs. Suppression of the bone marrow by certain medications or cancer may diminish platelet production. Autoimmune disorders may increase platelet destruction or impair platelet function. Massive blood transfusions dilute circulating platelets and decrease platelet viability. Thrombocytopenia can usually be corrected by treating the underlying cause. Preventative measures such as bed-rest to avoid accidental trauma are highly recommended until platelet counts increase to acceptable levels. Platelet transfusions are reserved for severe thrombocytopenia or in cases of severe bleeding. There are many causes of this blood disease. A few are listed below. 1. An enlarged spleen – harboring too many platelets; causing a decrease in the number of

platelets in circulation 2. Reduced production of platelets which can be caused by diseases such as leukemia, viral

infections as well as toxic chemicals and chemotherapy drugs. 3. Increased breakdown of platelets which can be caused by a number of conditions.

The mild form of this disease may not require treatment and may resolve on its own. For more severe forms several options may be involved 1. Finding the underlying cause and treating that cause. 2. Blood transfusions There are some lifestyle and home remedies an individual can try, such as discussing with your doctor what activities are best suited for you. If you drink alcohol consider not drinking at all or drinking very little. Be careful with over the counter pain medications as they can affect your platelet function including aspirin and ibuprofen. You may also want to avoid Advil and Motrin. This is also an issue your doctor can help you with.


Mayo Clinic. (1998-2011). Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) http://www.mayoclinic.com WebMD. Iron Deficiency Anemia, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/iron-deficiency-anemia-topic-overview Sickle Cell Disease http://kidshealth.org Mulvihill, M. L., Zelman, M., Holdaway, P., Tompary, E., & Raymond, J. (2006) Instructor’s resource manual: Human diseases: A systematic approach (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall

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