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Anemia (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Because anemia is typically a clue to another underlying disease, it needs to be fully evaluated by a doctor, and proper testing needs to be undertaken to determine the cause. Therefore, if signs and symptoms of anemia are present, one should contact his or her physician for evaluation.

  • In the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or lung disease, the symptoms of anemia may be more significant, and a prompt medical evaluation is prudent.
  • The diagnosis of anemia at home is difficult unless bleeding is obvious. If significant bleeding is clearly evident, as in a severe injury, immediate medical attention is required and one should consider going to the emergency room. Generally, this kind of acute (short onset) anemia is more likely to cause immediate symptoms than chronic (long-lasting) types of anemia.
  • Many individuals with chronic conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, know when they have an attack related to their disease (sickle cell crisis) and opt to seek medical attention promptly.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/27/2012

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