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A 36-year-old member asked:

Can you die from anemia?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Holly Barth
Dr. Holly Barthanswered
General Practice 9 years experience
If untreated: Anemia decreases the amount of oxygen distributed throughout the body. For this reason, if anemia is untreated, it can become life-threatening. Normally what is causing the anemia is the major problem. That can be blood loss from any source or lack of blood being made because of kidney disease or bone marrow cancer. Also, sickle cell anemia can make you sick and easily infected.
Dr. Michael Engel
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology 20 years experience
Yes, depending on ..: Severity and intervention. Hematocrits can fall to where o2 delivery is insufficient to support organ function, particularly the heart, which must work even harder due to severe anemia. Death can occur. If anemia develops slowly, patients can compensate to even very low hematocrits, but then precipitously decompensate. In contrast, rapid development may preclude compensation w/ grave consequences.

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Last updated Dec 11, 2019

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