Pathology > Basic Hematology > Red Cell Disorders > Blood Loss

Blood Loss

Blood loss may be either acute or chronic. In either case the source of bleeding must be determined.

When the loss is acute the site of bleeding is usually readily apparent, but may be difficult to recognize, ie. ectopic pregnancy, deep tissue hemorrhage, or aortic aneurysm rupture.

When blood loss is >1 Liter shock is likely. In the period immediately after the acute bleed the Hct, MCV, and peripheral smear are generally normal. Two - three days later reticulocytes will be present.

 

There is ...

Scarce blood enough in all their sticky veins

To give each naked curtleaxe a stain.

-Henry V

At other times the loss occurrs slowly and may initially be compensated for by increased erythroid activity in the marrow. If adequate iron is available the anemia will be a normochromic normocytic anemia.

Occult gastrointestinal bleeding or menometrarrhagia may lead to an Fe deficiency anemia.

This is the end of the Red Cell Disorders Section. The right arrow will take you the White Cell Disorders Content Page.

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