Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 15 (11), 1-15; quiz 15-6

Anemia in the Emergency Department: Evaluation and Treatment

  • PMID: 24716235

Anemia in the Emergency Department: Evaluation and Treatment

Timothy G Janz et al. Emerg Med Pract.


Anemia is a common worldwide problem that is associated with nonspecific complaints. The initial focus for the emergency evaluation of anemia is to determine whether the problem is acute or chronic. Acute anemia is most commonly associated with blood loss, and the patient is usually symptomatic. Chronic anemia is usually well tolerated and is often discovered coincidentally. Once diagnosed, the etiology of anemia can often be determined by applying a systematic approach to its evaluation. The severity of the anemia impacts clinical outcomes, particularly in critically ill patients; however, the specific threshold to transfuse is uncertain. Evaluation of the current literature and clinical guidelines does not settle this controversy, but it does help clarify that a restrictive transfusion strategy (ie, for patients with a hemoglobin < 6-8 g/dL) is associated with better outcomes than a more liberal transfusion strategy. Certain anemias may have well-defined treatment options (eg, sickle cell disease), but empiric use of nutritional supplements to treat anemia of uncertain etiology is discouraged.

Similar articles

  • Anemia of Critical Illness
    K Asare. Pharmacotherapy 28 (10), 1267-82. PMID 18823222. - Review
    Anemia of critical illness, a commonly encountered clinical situation, is hematologically similar to that of chronic anemia, except that the onset is generally sudden. Th …
  • Anemia in the Critically Ill
    A Shander. Crit Care Clin 20 (2), 159-78. PMID 15135458. - Review
    The anemia of critical illness is a distinct clinical entity with characteristics similar to that of chronic disease anemia. Several solutions to the processes of anemia, …
  • Update in Critical Care for the Nephrologist: Transfusion in Nonhemorrhaging Critically Ill Patients
    M Afshar et al. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis 20 (1), 30-8. PMID 23265594. - Review
    A growing number of guidelines and recommendations advocate a restrictive transfusion strategy. Strong evidence exists that a hemoglobin threshold of less than 7 g/dL con …
  • Red Blood Cell Transfusion in the Emergency Department
    B Long et al. J Emerg Med 51 (2), 120-30. PMID 27262735. - Review
    RBC transfusion is not without risks, including transfusion reaction, infection, and potentially increased mortality. The age of transfusion products likely has no effect …
  • Transfusion Strategies for Patients in Pediatric Intensive Care Units
    J Lacroix et al. N Engl J Med 356 (16), 1609-19. PMID 17442904. - Randomized Controlled Trial
    In stable, critically ill children a hemoglobin threshold of 7 g per deciliter for red-cell transfusion can decrease transfusion requirements without increasing adverse o …
See all similar articles

Cited by 7 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources