What Is Anemia?

Anemia is a common blood disorder that occurs when there are fewer red blood cells than normal, and there is not enough hemoglobin transported to supply the body.

  • Hemoglobin. This is the part of red blood cells that distribute oxygen from the lungs to tissues in the body and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be removed from the body.
  • Hematocrit. This is the measurement of the percentage of red blood cells found in a specific volume of blood.

Anemia is often a symptom of a disease rather than a disease itself. Anemia usually develops due to the presence of one of the following:

  • Excessive blood loss or hemorrhaging
  • Deficient production of red blood cells
  • Excessive red blood cell destruction
  • Both decreased production and excessive destruction of red blood cells
  • Sequestration (the pooling of red cells in the spleen) 

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