Types and Causes of Anemia

What is ANEMIA?


  1. Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that develops as a result of an inadequate amount of serum iron.
  2. Anemia predisposes the client to postpartum infection.

Types and Causes of Anemia


Type of Anemia

Possible Causes

Normocytic/normochromic (normal cell size; normal amount of Hgb) Acute blood loss, aplastic anemia, prosthetic heart valves, sepsis, tumor
Microcytic/hypochromic (small cell size; low amount of Hgb) Iron deficiency, lead poisoning, thalassemia
Microcytic/normochromic (small cell size; normal amount of Hgb) Erythropoietin deficiency secondary to renal failure
Macrocytic/normochromic (large cell size; normal amount of Hgb) Chemotherapy, folate deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency


Microcytic— MCV less than normal (<80 fL)

Normocytic— MCV within normal range (80–100 fL)

Macrocytic— MCV greater than normal (>100 fL)

Hypochromic—MCH less than normal (<27 pg)

Normochromic—MCH within normal range (27–31 pg)

Hyperchromic—MCH greater than normal (>31 pg)

Assessment of Anemia

  1. Fatigue
  2. Headache
  3. Pallor
  4. Tachycardia
  5. Hemoglobin value is usually less than 10 g/dL; hematocrit value is usually less than 30%.

Nursing  Interventions

  1. Monitor hemoglobin and hematocrit levels every 2 weeks.
  1. Administer and instruct the client about iron and folic acid supplements.
  2. Instruct the client to take iron with a source of vitamin C to increase its absorption and to avoid taking iron with tea.
  3. Instruct the client to eat foods high in iron, folic acid, and protein.
  4. Teach the client to monitor for signs and symptoms of infection.
  5. Prepare to administer parenteral iron; this may be prescribed for severe anemia.
  6. Prepare to administer blood transfusions for severe anemia, if prescribed.
  7. Prepare for the administration of oxytocic medications in the postpartum period if excessive bleeding is a concern.

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