What is hemolysis? Hemolysis simply means red blood cell breakdown. The normal life span of a red blood cell is about 4 months. So when it’s time is up it is removed from circulation and dismantled in either your liver, spleen and lymph nodes.
However, there are health related conditions and circumstances that cause the pace of their termination to become accelerated. In this instance, if your bone marrow cannot produce replacement cells at the same pace of the lose, then a significant imbalance is known as acute hemolysis. Causes of acute hemolysis include:
- drug side effect
- certain infections
- reaction to blood transfusion
- blood clots in small blood vessels
- lacking certain enzymes in red blood cells
- hemoglobin defects ~ sickle cell anemia, thalassemia
- protein defects that make framework of red blood cells
- during use of hemodialysis, heart-lung bypass machine
- autoimmune disorder ~ immune reaction releasing destructive antibodies
- toxins, poisons ~ snake venom, poisonous mushrooms, arsenic, lead, benzene
These conditions can lead to hemolytic anemia or a hemolytic crisis. Hemolytic crisis is caused by a sudden and rapid destruction of red blood cells in a copious amount.
Fatigue, pallor, dyspnea, dark urine color and jaundice are a couple of symptoms indicating you may be suffering from acute hemolysis or heading into a hemolytic crisis. Hemolytic crisis treatment may require you receive oxygen therapy and an emergency blood transfusion.