Forever no symptoms. Polycythemia, a high number of red blood cells, can be treated by giving fluids or by taking out blood and replacing it with donor blood (exchange transfusion) however when to treat is controversial, and depends on the degree (how high), symptoms, and the treating doctors treatment practice.
? age and cause. Polycythemia means that a person has a much higher number of red blood cells in the bloodstream than is normal for age. Newborns sometimes receive more rbc's from mom during delivery than expected. Increasing oral fluids or giving IV fluids is often first line of treatment. However, polycythemia can lead to increased risk of blood clot causing stroke. Patient's doctor can best assess risk.