Anaemia is the condition with reduced Red cells in the body.
  • Depends on many factors
    • Age of child
    • Severity of anaemia
    • Other associated conditions- ex. Heart problems
  • Fast heart rate(to compensate low haemoglobin)
  • Fatigue/ Weakness( because heart is beating fast)
  • Pale( because of low red cells)
  • Yellowish skin( if red cells are breaking, jaundice is formed)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or Chest pain
  • Desire to eat non-food items, such as ice, paper or clay (pica)


  • Adequate Production from bone( if low production, then anaemia)
  • Normal life expectancy of red cells( If cells are destroyed early then anaemia)
  • If bleeding, then red cells are lost
  • Red blood cells need Vitamins and minerals for surviving, like Iron, vitamin B. If there is no supply of these vitamins, then anaemia



Iron deficiency anaemia.

  • This is most common type
  • Due to reduced intake of iron in food, or problem absorbing the iron from food.
  • In pregnancy, more blood is required ( as the baby is growing), hence iron tablets are given in pregnancy.
Vitamin deficiency anaemia.
  • Vitamin and folic acid are required for formation of red cells. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables and B12 is found in egg, milk, meat.
  • The vitamins are absorbed in body with help of a factor (protein). Absence of this causes anaemia (pernicious anaemia)

Infections- Like malaria cause breaking of red cells

Anaemia of chronic disease.

  • Long-term infections like cancer, AIDS, arthritis, kidney disease, chronic  diseases of gut (inflammatory bowel diseases) can cause anaemia

Failure of bone marrow to produce cells(Aplastic anaemia)

  • It can be caused by viral infections, medications, chemicals and sometimes inherited from parents

Early breakage of red cells(Haemolytic anaemias)

  • Lysis means ‘ to break’. certain infections and defects in red cells can cause early breakage of cells.
  • There is generally a family history of such diseases

Various other types like thalassemia( genetic defects running in families), Sickle cells (genetic defects).


  • The doctor can notice that the child is pale, the mouth and nails are colourless. The heartbeat could be fast with a murmur( sound due to fast moving blood)
  • Blood test- to count number of red cells( Full blood count)
  • Peripheral smear- to see the quality of cells( shape/ structure)
  • Levels of iron, vitamins in blood
  • If there is jaundice, then the reason for breakage of red cells needs to be found
  • Bone marrow aspirate- The bone is drilled and the marrow ( factory of cell production) is observed.
  • Genetic studies


include these foods in child’s diet for iron content.
    • Brown rice
    • Dark-green leafy vegetables
    • Pulses and beans
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Meat, fish, eggs


  •  If the doctor feels it is due to deficiency of iron, he will start an iron syrup. (2-5 mg /kg/day).
  • Its is given for approx 3 months and blood test is done to find cells increasing in number
  • In some babies, anaemia at 2-4 months is noted. If the baby is born term (> 38-week gestation) then no treatment is generally given.
  •  Blood is transfused if severely pale


  • Severe pale looking child
  • Drowsy, unconscious
  • Heart disease
  • Severe leg pain in pale child
  • Jaundice

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