Upregulation of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1), due to haemolysis and/or inflammation, can lead to impaired immune function. Anaemia is common among sepsis patients, but the consequences of sepsis-associated anaemia are poorly understood. Here, our objective was to determine the prevalence and extent of anaemia, haemolysis, inflammation, and HO-1 induction after early hospital admission. We hypothesised that inflammation- or infection-induced haemolysis contributes to sepsis-associated anaemia and that this will lead to expression of HO-1. In this study, plasma obtained from seventy adult patients within 12 hours of admission to intensive care due to sepsis were analysed for anaemia, haemolysis and inflammatory markers by ELISA and microbead array. The majority (82.6%) of patients were anaemic with evidence of haemolysis (raised haem, haptoglobin, haemopexin, and HO-1 concentrations). Interestingly, concentrations of both haemoglobin and IL-10 were moderately positively correlated with HO-1 concentration (Hb: r = 0.32, p = 0.007; IL-10 r = 0.39, p = 0.0008) whereas HO-1 concentration was weakly negatively correlated with haemopexin (r = -0.23, p = 0.055). Anaemia, while common, was not associated with HO-1 concentration. After adjusting for confounding, HO-1 induction appears to be associated primarily with IL-10 concentration rather than haemolysis. Disease severity at diagnosis was correlated with early plasma IL-10 (r = 0.35, p = 0.003) and HO-1 (r = 0.24, p = 0.048) concentrations. Notably, admission levels of haem, HO-1, and IL-10 were indicators of survival.