Hca/240 Blood Disorders

Amy, a 4-year-old Caucasian female, has been complaining of being tired all the time. She is pale and a picky eater. Her mother is a single mom with a small budget to feed a large family. Amy only eats pasta, breads, and hot dogs, and drinks only artificial fruit punch. This is a case of iron deficiency anemia.

Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells. These cells are the main transporters of oxygen to organs. If red blood cells are also deficient in hemoglobin, then your body isn't getting enough oxygen. Symptoms of anemia -- like fatigue -- occur because organs aren't getting enough oxygen. (WebMD)
Iron deficiency anemia is a decrease in the number of red blood cells, caused by a
lack of sufficient iron. Alternative Names: Anemia - iron deficiency - children
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in blood. Iron is normally obtained in the diet and by the recycling of iron from old red blood cells. (Dr. Koop)
Babies are born with about 500mg of iron in their bodies. By the time they reach adulthood they need to have accumulated about 5000mg.
Children need to absorb an average of 1mg per day of iron to keep up with the needs of their growing bodies. Since children only absorb about 10% of the iron they eat, most children need to ingest 8-10mg of iron per day. Breast-fed babies need less, because iron is absorbed 3 times better when it is in breast milk.
An iron deficient diet is a common cause of iron deficiency. Drinking too much cow's milk is a classic cause of iron deficiency in young children, because cows’ milk does not contain iron and inhibits absorption of iron. Iron deficiency may also result from blood loss in stool from a problem in the intestines.
A common time for iron deficiency is between 9 and 24 months of age. All babies should have a screening test for iron...