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Haemolysis means destruction of mature red blood cells. When this happens, bone marrow cannot produce red blood cells fast enough to compensate for those being destroyed. Thus Anemia caused due to premature destruction of RBCs is Hemolytic anemia. This is not contagious.

Sex or Age most Affected

Both sexes equally

Signs & Symptons

  • Undue tiredness & fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, dark urine).
  • Enlarged spleen.


  • Genetically transmitted disorder, such as hereditary spherocytosis, G6PD deficiency, sickle-cell anemia or thallasemia.
  • Antibodies produced by the body to fight infections, which for unknown reason attack red blood cells. This response is sometimes triggered by blood transfusions.
  • Use of medications, including non-prescription drugs, which damage red blood cells.

Risk Increases With

  • Family history of hemolytic anemia.
  • Injudicious use of any medication.


  • Don’t take any medicine that has previously caused hemolytic anemia.
  • Seek genetic counseling before having children if you have a family history of hemolytic anemia (inherited forms).

Diagnostic Measures

  • Observation of symptoms.
  • History and physical exam by a doctor.
  • Laboratory blood studies, including blood count, examination of bone marrow, and in some cases measurement with radioactive chromium of red cell survival.

Possible Complications

  • Excessive spleen enlargement, which increases destruction of red blood cells.
  • Pain, shock and serious illness caused by hemolysis (red-blood-cell destruction).
  • Gallstones.

Probable Outcomes

  • If hemolytic anemia is acquired, it can usually be cured when the cause, such as a drug, is removed. Sometimes the spleen is removed surgically.
  • If hemolytic anemia is inherited, it is currently considered incurable. However, symptoms can be relieved or controlled. Scientific research into causes and treatment continues, so there is hope for increasingly effective treatment and cure.


Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Immunosuppressive drugs to control the antibody response.
  • Medication to reduce pain. For minor discomfort, you may use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen.


No special diet

Contact your Doctor

The following occurs during treatment:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Bloody urine.
  • Signs of infection in any part of the body (redness, pain, swelling, fever).
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop.