Tania Douglas is a 36-year-old attorney living in Miami. Dolores is in the second trimester of pregnancy with her ﬁrst child, and though her pregnancy had been progressing normally, recently she has noticed that she tires very easily and is short of breath from even the slightest exertion. She also has experienced periods of light-headedness, though not to the point of fainting. Other changes she has noticed are cramping in her legs, a desire to crunch on ice, and the fact that her tongue is sore. She doubts that all these symptoms are related to one another, but she is concerned, and she makes an appointment to see her physician.
Upon examining Tania, her physician ﬁnds that she has tachycardia, pale gums and nail beds, and her tongue is swollen. Given her history and the ﬁndings on her physical exam, the physician suspects that Tania is anemic and orders a sample of her blood for examination. Th e results are shown below:
- Red Blood Cell Count 3.5 million/ mm3
- Hemoglobin (Hb) 7 g/dl Hematocrit (Hct) 30%
- Serum Iron: Low
- Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV): Low
- Mean Corpuscular Hb Concentration (MCHC): Low
- Total Iron Binding Capacity in the Blood (TIBC): High
A diagnosis of anemia due to iron deﬁciency is made and oral iron supplements prescribed. Tania’s symptoms are eliminated within a couple of weeks and the remainder of her pregnancy progresses without difficulty.
1. What is Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)? Discuss its causes.
2. What are the diagnostic tests for IDA? What is the significance of the red blood cells indices for IDA?
3. How is IDA treated and prevented?
4. Provide patient education.