4 doctors weighed in:

Can you die from anemia?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Engel
Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Michael Engel
Dr. Michael Engel
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Holly Barth
General Practice
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Holly Barth
Holly Barth
Answer assisted by Holly Barth, Medical Student
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