Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

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The immune system consists of a defense system that shields the body against invasion from infections and other diseases. In a normal healthy person, the immune system has the ability to distinguish between its own cells and those that represent threats to the health of the body. (Craft and Kanter, 2002). Autoimmune disorders are the results of a breakdown within the body to acknowledge its own cells from foreign cell that produces an immune response against itself, referred to as an autoimmune response. This triggers the body's own defense mechanism to produce antibodies that attack the body's own tissues and cells. (Franz, 2006, Laberge and Davidson, 2007).

I decided to explore autoimmune hemolytic anemia when my six-year was diagnosed with the disease in September. His symptoms came on rather sudden and he experienced extreme weakness, he unable to walk without collapsing from exhaustion, his gums were pale, and he had lost his appetite to eat. Normally he would be very energetic and hyper, like most six-years.

On September 1st, 2010, I took my six-year old to the doctor to ascertain why he was so weak and to determine the underlying causes of his condition. The doctor ordered a complete blood count test or CBC blood test to measure his red blood and white blood cell count. A CBC blood test is the main test that is used to make a general diagnosis of anemia. A CBC blood test involves taking a small blood sample and analyzing the number of red and white blood cells and the number of blood platelets in the blood. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2009). When the CBC test results came back, it showed that his white blood cell count was highly elevated and his red blood cell count was unusually low. Following the ...

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... MD and Kantor, Fred S., MD “Chapter 15: The Immune System.” The Patient's Guide to Medical Tests, 2nd Ed. by Faculty Members at The Yale University School of Medicine and G.S. Sharpe Communications, Inc. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from:

“Complete Blood Count.” Lab Tests Online. 8 April 2009. American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Retrieved March 25, 2011.

Odle, Teresa. "Hemolytic Anemia." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. 3rd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 1752-1753. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 25 Mar. 2011.

Polsdorfer, J. Ricker. "Coombs' Tests." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 1003-1004. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 25 Mar. 2011.
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