Hemolytic Anemia | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is hemolytic anemia diagnosed?

Typically a physical exam and blood tests are used to diagnose hemolytic anemia. Additional procedures may include a urine, bone marrow, or genetic testing. People who are diagnosed with mild hemolytic anemia may not need treatment at all. For others, hemolytic anemia can often be treated or controlled.

What are the treatments for hemolytic anemia?

Hemolytic anemia treatments vary depending on the type and cause of the disease and may include:

  • steroid therapy to decrease the immune system attack on the red blood cells
  • red blood cell transfusion, may be used when anemia is severe or therapy is ineffective

If a child has severe hemolytic anemia, hospitalization may be needed for the following:

  • exchange transfusion to replace damaged blood with fresh blood
  • surgery to remove the spleen (usually reserved for children who don’t respond to other therapies)