Blood Disorders

January 9, 2017 Medical

Blood Disorders
Laura S. Carlton
Yosely K. Cruz, RN, MHSA, MSN.

Blood Disorders
There are many different blood disorders that can be very harmful to an individual??™s health. Some of the blood disorders are preventable and others we cannot prevent because they are hereditary. There are blood disorders that just cause discomfort and there are some that can be fatal. Blood disorders can affect any of the three main components of blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and can also affect the plasma ( The blood disorders that I will be covering in this paper are Iron Deficiency Anemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Thrombocytopenia. Treatment and prognosis for blood disorders vary, depending on the blood condition and the severity. Regardless of the type of blood disorder it is important to make sure that you get proper treatment.
Main Components of Blood
Blood has four main parts which are the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and the plasma. White blood cells fight infection and kill off germs. Red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and transport carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs where it can be expelled. The red blood cells make up about half of bloods volume and it is the most abundant of the cells in the body; our body would die without them ( Platelets along with other substances come together to form clots to stop bleeding. You must also have calcium and vitamin k present to support the formation of clots. If you are low on those nutrients it may take a longer time to stop bleeding when injured and without these nutrients you could bleed to death. Plasma is also a very important component of blood; it is the fluid portion of blood that enables the cellular components (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) to travel throughout the circulatory system ( Antibodies travel to the battle fields of disease by way of the plasma.
Anemia is one of the most common of blood disorders and affects millions of individuals throughout the world. Anemia is a blood disorder that has a negative effect on the red blood cells, causing diminishing quantities of red blood cells with in the blood. The red blood cells primary purpose is to deliver oxygen to various organs throughout the body; if the quantity of these red blood cells is significantly reduced then the organs will not get the adequate quantity of oxygen. There are numerous potential causes of anemia, many of which can be very detrimental to an individual??™s health. There are different types of anemia, but I will be reporting on only two of those types which are iron-deficiency anemia and sickle cell anemia (WebMD, 2011).
Iron- Deficiency Anemia
Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition in which there is anemia with evidence of iron deficiency. With iron-deficiency anemia there is a negative iron balance and the iron stored up in the body is depleted. Iron is necessary for the body to make red blood cells so it is important to make sure that you are getting the correct amount of iron. This type is the leading cause of anemia worldwide.
Causes and prevention of iron-deficiency anemia. Low iron intake and loss of blood due to menstruation are the most common causes of iron-deficiency anemia. After menopause bleeding inside your body is the most common cause of iron deficiency. Some other factors that have an impact on becoming anemic are: ulcers, cancer, your body cannot absorb iron well as with celiac disease or if you have had part of your stomach or small intestine removed, and heavy aspirin use can also be a factor as well. This type of anemia can be prevented by making sure that you are getting the proper amount of iron from your diet. To prevent iron-deficiency anemia you should be eating foods that contain iron every day, foods such as meats, vegetables, whole grains like fortified cereals and if you are pregnant you should be taking prenatal vitamins (WebMD, 2011).
Causes and prevention of Sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic condition that affects mostly African-Americans and is the most common hereditary blood disorder. Sickle cell anemia is when periodically, red blood cells change shape and block blood flow, causing severe pain and can also cause damage to the organs. This type of anemia also makes an individual more susceptible to infections. Those who have the disorder have inherited two genes (one from each parent). An individual with sickle cell anemia has numerous medical problems including but not limited to, eye damage, leg ulcers, lung and heart injury, and liver congestion. Unfortunately, this type of anemia cannot be prevented, especially if both parents have the trait, the best steps to take is to be tested to see if the trait is present so that it can be handled and so that you are aware of the condition.
Causes and prevention of Thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which there is a low number of platelets in the blood, it is the most common bleeding problem among hospital patients. There are numerous conditions that can cause Thrombocytopenia; however, the result is either the impaired production or increased destruction of platelets. In this condition other factors that cause the low number of platelets also include auto immune disorders, spleen may hold on to too many platelets, a wide spread bacterial infection (chicken pox, rubella, aids), toxic chemicals, and alcohol, Some medications may also have an effect on the platelet count when the medicine confuses your body and cause it to destroy its own platelets. You can take measures to prevent this condition with bed rest, and avoiding accidental trauma, which is recommended until the platelet counts increase to acceptable levels.
Patients Symptoms and the Symptoms Used to Diagnose
In the case of Lily, the four year old Caucasian girl, her symptoms are concurrent with symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia. Pale appearance and feeling tired all the time are classic symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia. She comes from a low income family with many kids to feed and is a picky eater, and does not eat very nutritious foods so it is very likely that she is low on iron. In the case of Davon, the five year old African American male, his mother is exercising preventive care and necessary testing to see if Davon has the sickle cell trait. If one parent has it the chance that Davon does also is at about fifty percent. In the case of Spencer and his symptoms of the bruising all over is a telltale sign that he is suffering from thrombocytopenia.

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Zelman, M., Tompary, E., Raymond, J., Holdaway, P., & Mulvihill, M. (2010). Human diseases: A systemic approach (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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