BT_PO 1.110 Describe the physiological consequences of acute and chronic anaemia


The plant above (photo courtesy of Jonny’s Seeds) is Amaranthus, or Love-lies-a-bleeding. Interestingly the seeds are a edible and very high in iron. How neat – the cause and cure for anaemia in one!

When I was in Copenhagen recently, I went to a very interesting set of talks regarding anaemia in the elderly and the implications for peri-operative management of these patients. Peri-operative management of anaemia has received a lot of interest in the literature in recent years as part of a patient blood management strategy. If you are interested in the topic, then you can have a look at this International Consensus Statement on Peri-operative Anaemia.

However the focus of this LO is more on the basic (patho)physiological consequences of anaemia.

BT_PO 1.110 Describe the physiological consequences of acute and chronic anaemia

There is a good chapter on anaemia in Nunn’s Applied Respiratory Physiology Ch 23 and here  is an article from BJA Education which covers the basic concepts.

These first statements cover core and important concepts

Oxygen delivery to the tissues is determined by both haemoglobin concentration and cardiac output T/F

PaO2 would be lower in the same patient at a Hb of 60g/dL compared with 13g/dL T/F

An increase in FiO2 from 0.21 to 0.5 will increase the oxygen content of the blood significantly in an anaemic patient T/F

Chronic anaemia decreases blood viscosity thereby reducing cardiac afterload T/F

Have a think about the next one, it is both true and false. You may need a calculator, but see if you can find some conditions where it is true

A doubling of cardiac output will compensate for a halving of Hb, with respect to oxygen delivery

I think this one is interesting, but not core (the answer lies in the first article I linked to in the introduction)

Iron deficiency is only detrimental if associated with anaemia T/F