Relating to anemia, the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is, therefore, decreased.
Persons with anemia may feel tired and fatigue easily, appear pale, develop palpitations (feelings of rapid heart beating) and become unusually short of breath. Children with chronic anemia are prone to infections and learning problems.
A person can become anemic by three mechanisms. One or more of these mechanisms must be operating to produce anemia:
Hemorrhage — bleeding
Hemolysis — excessive destruction of red blood cells
Underproduction of red blood cells
Women are more likely than men to have anemia because of the loss of blood each month through menstruation. Iron deficiency anemia is common and in adults is most often due to chronic blood loss. This can be from menstruation or from small amounts of repeated bleeding (which can be very subtle) and in children is due mainly to not enough iron in the diet. Anemia is also often due to gastrointestinal bleeding caused by medications including such very common drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).
There are many forms of anemia, some of them common, others rare. They include, for example:
Hemolytic disease of the newborn
Iron deficiency anemia
Sickle cell disease
Myelodysplastic syndrome and a host of other bone marrow diseases.
“Anemic” infers lacking vitality, listless and weak as, for instance, in an anemic attempt to hit a ball or an anemic response to any situation.
- Anemia, sickle cell
A genetic blood disorder caused by the presence of an abnormal form of hemoglobin. These hemoglobin molecules tend to aggregate after unloading oxygen forming long, rod-like strictures that force the red cells to assume a sickle shape. Unlike normal red cells, which are usually smooth and malleable, the sickle red cells cannot squeeze through small […]
Anencephaly: A neural tube defect (NTD) that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close, usually between the 23rd and 26th days of pregnancy, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain, the largest part […]
Anergy: A state of immune unresponsiveness. Induced when the T cell’s antigen receptor is stimulated, effectively freezing T cell responses pending a “second signal” from the antigen-presenting cell. The delivery of the second signal by the antigen-presenting cell rescues the activated T cell from anergy, allowing it to produce the lymphokines necessary for the growth […]
Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before surgery.
- Anesthesia awareness
Anesthesia awareness: The situation that occurs when a patient under general anesthesia becomes aware of some or all events during surgery or a procedure, and has direct recall of those events. Because of the routine use of neuromuscular blocking agents (also called paralytics) during general anesthesia, the patient is often unable to communicate with the […]