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Anaemia - Causes, Treatments | SingHealth

Anaemia - What is it for

What are the different types of anaemia?
Anaemia can be classified by their causes and may be due to:

  • reduced production of red cells
  • increased red cell destruction or breakdown
  • blood loss

Anaemia - Symptoms

Symptoms due to anaemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Pale skin
  • Breathlessness on exertion
  • Giddiness
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches

Anaemia - How to prevent?

Anaemia - Causes and Risk Factors

What are some causes of anemia?

  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Vitamin deficiency anaemia e.g. folate and vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Anaemia of inflammation
  • Aplastic anaemia (due to bone marrow under producing)
  • Malignant bone marrow disorders e.g. myelodysplastic syndrome, leukemia, myelofibrosis
  • Hemolytic anaemia (Increased red blood cell breakdown)
  • Thalassemia

Anaemia - Diagnosis

Clinically, there are several laboratory tests that can assist the physicians to arrive at a diagnosis. A careful study of the blood film often offers many clues eg. changes in shape/size/colour of the blood cell, any abnormal intracellular inclusions, any parasites or worms present, etc. With these blood features as a guide, the clinician can proceed to other tests for diagnostic confirmation. These confirmatory tests may include a genetic study for certain hereditary disorders, biochemical determination of certain intracellular/extracellular chemical levels such as iron/folate, CT scan of the spleen for possible splenic disorders, bone marrow/lymph node biopsy for malignancies, etc.

Anaemia cells


Anaemia - Treatments

The treatment depends on the cause of the anaemia. Our haematologist will assess patients to determine the cause of the anaemia while treating it with a variety of options depending on the cause. This includes:

  • transfusion or red blood cells
  • infusions of iron
  • hormonal injections to boost red cell production
  • replacement of iron or vitamins and dietary advice
  • immunosuppressive medication to control an immune system that is destroying red blood cells

In anaemia due to blood cancers such as leukemias, myelomas, lymphomas or myelodysplastic syndrome we have dedicated teams in the blood cancer service who will assess and plan treatment with chemotherapy, immunotherapy or  haematopoietic stem cell transplant as needed.

Anaemia - Preparing for surgery

Anaemia - Post-surgery care

  • Updated on 2018-03-27T16:00:00Z