Testing & Diagnosis for Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children

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Contact the Rare Anemias and Iron Disorders Program

How does a doctor know that it’s iron deficiency anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia may be suspected based on general findings from a complete medical history and physical examination, such as:

  • complaints of tiring easily
  • pale skin and lips
  • fast heartbeat

Iron deficiency anemia is usually discovered during a medical examination through a complete blood count, which measures the number of red blood cells and their concentration of hemoglobin. Additional tests may include:

  • different blood tests
  • full bone marrow exam in which samples of the fluid (aspiration) and solid (biopsy) portions of bone marrow are withdrawn with a needle under local anesthesia
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