Iron Deficiency Anemia and Bloodless Surgery

Iron deficiency anemia is seven times more common in women than in men.

Overview of iron
Iron is a key mineral in the human diet and is essential for life. It plays a major role in the makeup of hemoglobin, codydramol a blood fraction that itself is a key element of every red blood cell. Hemoglobin makes up about 1/3 of each red blood cell and is therefore directly involved in the transportation of oxygen to every single cell in the human body. Without iron the red blood cells cannot bring needed oxygen to the body’s cells, tissues and organs.

A deficiency of iron can occur two ways. One, a lack of sufficient iron in the diet: two, a deficiency in the body’s ability to absorb iron. In either case, iron deficiency anemia is the result. Anemia is generally regarded as undesirable in any surgical setting but especially so in a Bloodless Operation wherein a patient and his surgeon are working to avoid a blood transfusion.

Anemia is also undesirable in that it prolongs recovery after surgery. “Many factors, such anemia, often impede the wound healing process.” -V Pontieri-Lewis. Iron deficiency anemia should alqays be treated prior to any surgery.

Iron deficiency anemia and Blood Management
If you are preparing to undergo Bloodless Surgery check with your Bloodless Surgeon, he may want you to correct iron deficiency anemia. However, newer research and long term studies have demonstrated that anemia may not be as serious of a concern in the surgical setting as once thought. Well trained Bloodless Surgeons will likely be aware of this, others may not.

Anemia is now understood not to be the threat to a surgical patient as once was the case. Skilled Bloodless Surgeons operate on anemic Bloodless Patients. But this is not the optimal situation. Although he can operate on an anemic patient it is not the optimal condition under which to operate. Also, as mentioned, anemia retards recovery; it is undesirable.

A person who wishes to avoid a blood transfusion but who at the same time is anemic is not doing all he can to avoid a blood transfusion. Don’t carry a Blood Card and neglect to treat anemia. Treat the anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is relatively easy to control.

“Older concepts about oxygen transport to tissues, wound healing, and ‘nutritional value’ of blood are being abandoned. Experience with patients demonstrates that severe anemia is well tolerated.” -The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Note: There are many forms of anemia. Although iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia and is easily treatable iron supplements alone can not treat the other forms of anemia.

Causes and treatment of iron deficiency anemia
Malabsorption – Malabsorption of iron by the body may be another cause. A patient may be consuming enough iron in their diet but the body may not be absorbing it. Underlying causes of poor absorption may be due to Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease. These diseases are complicated and difficult to treat. Consulting an expert would be the wise course of action.

Gastric bypass surgery
Gastric bypass surgery may also cause poor absorption of iron and cause iron deficiency anemia.

Antacids – The excessive consumption of antacids also may lead to iron deficiency anemia. A life style change may be necessary to reduce stress may be necessary. Treating the underlying cause of excessive stomach acid may reduce the need for antacids.

Iron Deficiency Anemia and Bloodless Surgery
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