What previous lab findings should be included in the history of a patient with suspected anemia?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Carefully obtain a history and perform a physical examination in every patient with anemia, because the findings usually provide important clues to the underlying disorder. From the standpoint of the investigation of the anemia, asking questions in addition to those conventionally explored during a routine examination is important. Areas of inquiry found valuable are briefly described below.

Often, the duration of anemia can be established by obtaining a history of previous blood studies and, if necessary, by acquiring those records. Similarly, a history of rejection as a blood donor or prior prescription of hematinics provides clues that anemia was detected previously.


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