Iron Deficiency Anemia: Case Study

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According to the details given in case study, Ms. A has iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. It is a condition where the blood lacks enough red blood cells (Clark, 2008). When there are a low number of red blood cells, it makes transportation of oxygen to parts of the body very difficult. Iron deficiency is type of anemia due to the lack of iron in the body. Without the proper amount of iron in the body, it cannot produce enough hemoglobin and since hemoglobin is the main carrier of oxygen, low levels of it can lead to tiredness and shortness of breath (Copstead, Banasik, 2010).

Case Findings

There are many causes of anemia in the body. Some factors include genetics and deficiencies in the diet. Ms. A claims that for the past 10 – 12 years menorrhagia and dysmenorrheal have been a problem for her. Menorrhagia is abnormal and heavy menstrual bleeding during menstruation (Mayoclinic, 2013). Menorrhagia can deplete iron levels in the blood and increase the risk of an individual to have iron deficiency anemia. This is the cause of Ms. A’s anemia. Moreover, Ms. A says that she constantly takes aspirin especially in the summer to prevent stiffness in the joints. Aspirin affects and hinders the production of red blood cells (Mayoclinic, 2013). From the description of anemia given above, the lack of red blood cells, leads to low levels of iron and therefore low levels of hemoglobin which in turn affects the transportation of oxygen and thereby causing shortness of breath. Ms. A’s initial complains of shortness of breath and fatigue is the reason why she went to see the physician.

The physician’s notes indicated a temperature of 98 degrees F, an elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, and low blood pressure. When the amount of oxygen available for the heart is low, it puts pressure on the heart and causes the heart rates to increase. To compensate for the low amount of oxygen the respiratory rate also increases to enable the intake of more oxygen that is be available for the body.

Patient Findings

The normal hemoglobin count for women is between 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter (Chen, Zieve, 2012). The lab tests done for Ms. A. shows her hemoglobin count is only 8 grams per deciliter. This is very low compared to the normal value. Moreover, the normal hematocrit level is between 36 and 46 percent (Chen, Zieve, 2012).

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