Treatment for Hemolytic Anemia

The treatment of hemolytic anemia is completely dependent on the type of hemolytic anemia and its causes. For those who have only a mild or a temporary case of hemolytic anemia, treatment may not be necessary. However, since this anemia could turn out to be life threatening, it is important to receive appropriate treatment in cases where the symptoms are severe.

There are no specific guidelines for the treatment of this condition. However, treatment is performed to reduce the destruction of red blood cells and increase the RBC count to the normal level. Sometimes, treatment may be aimed at the underlying cause, and thus, the anemia is resolved on its own.

For those who have genetic hemolytic anemia, there are no possible cures for the condition. Such people will have to get lifelong treatment in order to maintain their RBC count. Their condition may worsen if the treatment is stopped.

Here are some of the most common treatment methods for this condition.

  • Medication: When hemolytic anemia is caused due to autoimmune disorders or infections, medications can be successfully used to treat it. The immune system can be stopped from attacking the RBCs by consuming corticosteroids. Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight infections.
  • Plasmapheresis: This is a complicated procedure in which antibodies are removed from the blood. For this, blood is drawn from the body, the plasma is removed, and then donor plasma is added to it before inserting it back into the body. This treatment is usually prescribed when the person suffers from an autoimmune disease and the anemia cannot be treated with the help of medications.
  • Blood Transfusions: This is a rarely used treatment method, used only in case of severe or life threatening anemia. Blood is transfused intravenously only after it has been carefully matched with the recipient’s blood group.
  • Surgery: If the spleen is enlarged, diseased or infected, it may have to be surgically removed from the body. A splenectomy may be performed to remove the spleen to prevent severe damage to RBCs.
  • Organ Transplant: In rare cases, a bone marrow transplant may be required so that healthy and normal RBCs can be synthesized in the body. This will prevent hemolytic anemia from getting severe. With advances in stem cell research, a blood and marrow stem cell transplant may be used to improve synthesis of RBCs.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Those who suffer from autoimmune hemolytic anemia often experience an increased breakdown of RBCs in colder temperatures. Keeping yourself warm in winters can help you deal with hemolytic anemia.