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What is anemia and how to detect it?

Definition of anemia:
It is defined as qualitative or quantitative diminution of RBC and / or haemoglobin concentration in relation to standard age and sex and clinically it is manifested by pallor.
Sites you will look to detect anaemia?

Following are the sites that should be examined:
Clinically we look for paleness of the skin/mucous membrane

  1. Lower palpebral conjunctiva (examined by retracting the lower eyelids downward and ask the patient to look upwards, both eyes are examined at a time).
  2. Tongue, especially the tip and the dorsum of tongue.
  3. Soft palate.
  4. Nail beds (press the pulp of finger tip to see the redness of nail bed).
  5. Palms, soles and general skin surfaces
In adults the colour of the tongue and the conjunctiva are more reliable than other sites. In children, palms and soles are to be specially looked for.

How will you clinically classify the anemia?
Based on clinical examination anaemia Is clinically classified as mild, moderate and severe types. As it is totally a clinical assessment sometime this may not correspond with laboratory findings
Mild anaemia          -60-80% of Hb (9-12 g/dl).
Moderate anaemia  - 40-60% of Hb (6-9 g/dl)
Severe anaemia       - <40% of Hb (<6 g/dl).
The normal haemoglobin concentrations varry in males and females.
Males    -14.6 to 15.5 g/dl. 
Females - 13.3 to 14.6 g/dl.
* 14.5 g/dl may be taken as 100%.