Anemia & Hemoglobin Testing
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    Anemia & Hemoglobin Testing


    Anemia Introduction

    Anemia is the deficiency of red blood cells in a person’s blood. Red blood cells transport oxygen to the organs. Hemoglobin (Hb) is the protein inside these blood cells that carries the oxygen and gives red blood cells their red color. When there is a shortage of hemoglobin, the body does not receive enough oxygen. This is what causes Anemia and many of its associated symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and paleness. For this reason, hemoglobin is one of the key tests used to diagnose Anemia. The volume of red blood cells, known as Hematocrit (Hct), also plays a role in diagnosing this disease.


    Main Types and Causes of Anemia

    When the body is deficient in healthy hemoglobin, the organs are prevented from receiving enough oxygen to function properly.


    Some of the main causes and types of Anemia include:

    •   Iron deficient Anemia and Pernicious Anemia (Vitamin B-12 deficient)
         -    Caused by nutritional deficiency
    •   Hemolytic Anemia
         -    Due to the destruction of red blood cells
    •   Thalassemia
         -    The effect of a decreased production of red blood cells
    •   Posthemorrhagic Anemia
         -    A result of severe blood loss
    •   Sickle Cell Anemia
         -    A consequence of abnormal hemoglobin


    Use Hb testing to check Hb levels and to aid in the diagnosis of Anemia.


    Normal Hb Levels

    The normal range of Hb depends on the person’s age. From the teenage years on, this range also depends on gender. 




    11-14 g/dL

    (6.8- 8.7 mmol/L)

    13-17 g/dL

    (8.1-10.5 mmol/L)

    12-15 g/dL

    (7.4-9.3 mmol/L)



    Major Hb Testing Locations

    • Physician Offices, Clinics, Laboratories, and Hospitals
      • Doctors use Hb tests to look for Red Blood Cell conditions or to monitor a person’s anemia or polycythemia (too many Red Blood Cells)
    • Blood Banks
      • Donors Hb levels are tested before they can be qualified to donate
    • Maternity Units
      • Pregnant women should have their Hb levels tested before, at the beginning of, and during pregnancy.
      • Newborn babies may have their Hb levels tested as part of a routine screening
    • ER, Ambulances, Intensive Care Units, Operating Rooms, and Dialysis Centers
      • Acute blood loss patients are tested to identify whether a red blood cell transfusion is necessary
      • Because of blood loss, nutritional deficiency, and swelling, 50% of patients in the ICU are anemic
    • Nursing Homes, Community Health Centers, and Local Drug Stores
      • People in the community are tested through government tender or local organization sponsored free Hb screenings
      • Hb testing is vital in nursing homes where about 50% of adults have anemia
    • Mobile Medical Clinics
      • Travelling mobile medical clinics provide Hb and other tests for general health checkups and urgent care


    Anemia Monitoring is on the Rise

    According to the National Anemia Action Council, Inc. (NAAC), Anemia monitoring is expected to increase due to:

    • 80% of chemotherapy patients have severe Anemia
    • 20% of pregnant women in the U.S. have Anemia
    • 50% of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients have Anemia
    • 30% of people with HIV have Anemia
    • 22% of HIV patients have treatment-related Anemia
    • 67% of Hepatitis C patients have treatment-related Anemia


    Driving Forces of Hb Point of Care Testing (POCT)

    • Growing awareness of the prevalence of Anemia
    • An Escalating number of chronic disease treatments, which can cause Anemia
    • Increasing ages of chronic disease patients
    • Reduced cost of blood banks’ Hb screenings
    • New handheld Hb monitoring systems have made Hb testing and Anemia monitoring more convenient


    Hb Point of Care Testing (POCT) offers easy testing performed near or at the site of the patient for a quicker results and decision for treatment. Handheld Hb monitoring systems provide convenient, accurate, and fast results, which have made Hb testing and Anemia monitoring more accessible to people worldwide.



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