Article

The Classification of Anemia*

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Abstract

Summary

A laboratory and clinical classification of anemia has been outlined.

The results of the blood study have been correlated with the clinical classification.

The importance of the clinical and hematologic classification in relation to the treatment of anemia has been emphasized and the lines of treatment indicated.

Changes in the erythrocytes must always occur in anemia since the hemoglobin is constantly decreased. Erythrocytes may be decreased in number, the size may be altered, or the hemoglobin content per cell may vary from normal. No patient with anemia should be treated without a complete laboratory and clinical examination. The blood must be properly studied and classified in the laboratory; the patient must have a careful clinical examination; the results of the laboratory and clinical studies must be correlated. It is my purpose in this paper to describe a method of study of anemia which has proved most valuable in our hands.

No clinical or laboratory classification of anemia suggested in the past has proved satisfactory. Most clinicians have employed only a rough grouping into primary and secondary types. In the primary group have been placed the anemias without apparent cause and those with a color index over 1.00; in the secondary group, those with known cause, and those with a color index less than 1.00. Such a classification confuses clinical and hematological data and is not really workable.

In every animal the blood is undergoing constantly a rapid ebb and flow. Erythrocytes and hemoglobin are always being formed and destroyed. . .


 

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