There have been great strides made in the field of hematology ever since and anemia in particular (Uthman, n.d). The word anemia originates from two Greek words that mean without blood. As this cannot be taken for a precise definition of the condition, scientists have defined anemia as the condition in which there is a below than normal number of red blood cells and their hemoglobin component. Hemoglobin is the principle component of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs via the blood to various tissues in the body where it dislodges the oxygen and takes up carbon dioxide which is supplied back to the lungs for exhalation. As a result of decreased oxygen supplied to the tissues in anemia, the condition is generally characterized by tiredness and fatigue. In prolonged cases anemia can cause damages to the heart and other vital organs in the body. Though anemia could result due to varied reasons, the causative factors have been broadly classified based on the number of red cells as follow: decreased production of red blood cells, increased destruction or hemolysis of red cells and loss of blood (Anemia, 2008). Each of these causative factors is associated with several etiologies such as genetic, nutritional, physical, chronic and malignant conditions and infectious. Every etiological condition is associated with the corresponding signs and symptoms. Though anemia can go undetected in most cases, once it is diagnosed anemia can be effectively treated through nutritional supplementations, medications or through administration of blood. History of Anemia Blood has for long been considered as a vital requirement for life and the role played by red blood cells was determined as early as the 18th century when the Englishman, William Hewson, famously referred to as the father of hematology, stated that red blood cells are likely to play an important role owing to their abundant presence in the blood. These cells were first described as ruddy globules when they were observed under the compound microscope by naturalist Jan Swammerdam. At the onset red blood cells were not associated with any disease condition until techniques were developed to count the cells and determine the normal range in blood. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term anemia was coined which was used as a clinical term which referred to pallor of the skin and mucous membrane. In the year 1852 Karl Vierordt first developed a technique to count the cells in blood. When one of his students counted the cells in a patient with chlorosis, now most commonly known as iron-deficiency anemia, he found that the number of red blood cells was lower than what was present in normal individuals. Further understanding about anemia, is symptoms, diagnosis, causative factors and treatment modules by nutritional means to transfusion of blood and transplantation of bone marrow in severe cases were provided later by hematologists using modern advances in scientific technologies (Uthman, n.d). Anemia: Definition and general causes and symptoms The definition most widely followed for anemia is “anemia is a condition characterized by an abnormal decrease in the body’s total red blood cell mass (Uthman, n.d; Maakaron, 2011).” It is also referred to as a condition in which there is lower than normal levels of red blood cells
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