anemia in children Anemia. This word is widely known, however, does everyone well imagine what this disease is and how many species does it have? This blood disease is very common. It affects adults and adolescents, anemia in infants is also a fairly common phenomenon. Before I tell you what anemia is and also what are the signs of anemia in children, I would like to refresh the knowledge from the school's bench about what blood is and what its functions are. Even the little kids know that the red liquid that flows from the knee shot down, and there's blood. Blood has various interesting features. For example, blood, thanks to special proteins, has the property of coagulating, thereby stopping bleeding. Blood constantly circulates through arteries, veins and capillaries, strictly along a certain route. The oxygenated blood rushes to all organs and tissues of the human body, and saturated with carbon dioxide and other vital activity, the blood returns back through the veins. An interesting fact: the total length of all blood vessels is about 100,000 km. The liquid component of blood is called plasma. The plasma contains a large number of proteins, fats, carbons, micro and macro elements, many of which take in the process of hematopoiesis. Also in the plasma are blood cells:

  • Erythrocytes. Pink blood cells, in shape resembling plates. Pink color is given to the hemoglobin, which is part of the protein. The main function of hemoglobin is transport: the erythrocytes carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. In addition, red blood cells determine the Rh factor and the blood group of a person.
  • Leukocytes. In size, these are the largest blood cells. In the middle of the red blood cell there is a nucleus around which there are fine granular impregnations. These inclusions are called granulocytes. Also, there are cells that have a much smaller size, with a round, almost the entire cell area, the nucleus - lymphocytes. And cells that have a bean-shaped nucleus are called monocytes. All these cells are blood leukocytes. The main role of leukocytes is protective. It is the leukocytes that take the first blow in case of penetration into the human body of various pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, for leukemia immunity is also responsible for leukocytes. Leukocytes, like the real "soldiers", are divided into different types of "troops". T - lymphocytes recognize foreign cells and memorize them, B - lymphocytes provide the development of necessary antibodies in this situation, and macrophages and neutrophils destroy them. In this case, not only foreign cells die, but leukocytes also die. By the way, pus is nothing more than the accumulation of dead leukocytes.
  • Platelets are cells responsible for stopping and clotting of blood.

Plasma with the cells of blood contained in themcalled peripheral blood. However, speaking about the circulatory system, we can not fail to mention the bone marrow, in which the birth and maturation of blood cells occurs. Before the blood cells form in the peripheral blood, they pass through a complex stage of maturation. At the origin of absolutely all cells are similar to each other, like twin brothers. And only after the stage of division and maturation they become erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets. The life span of blood cells is small: neutrophils live only 10 hours, platelets the same - 10 days. And erythrocytes can be called long-livers - the duration of their life is as much as 120 days. And, finally, the last link in the chain of the organs of the circulatory system is the spleen. The spleen destroys the aged cells, and also reacts to the appearance of mutated cells due to the disease and also destroys them. That branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of blood diseases is called hematology, and, accordingly, a doctor specializing in blood diseases is a doctor-hematologist. It is to him that parents who notice signs of anemia in children should immediately contact them. Virtually all the blood diseases in children have symptoms in the initial stage are almost the same:

  • Deterioration of the general condition of the body.
  • Weakness, increased fatigue.
  • Significant decrease in appetite.

If the parents ignore these first alarming "bells," the child's condition can significantly worsen. Many parents are very disturbed by such symptoms in their children as:

  • Clearly expressed pallor of the skin, often with an icteric tinge.
  • The appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
  • Spontaneous nasal bleeding, the appearance of numerous hematomas.
  • Also often the child has constant inflammation of the lymph nodes.

If the hematologist suspects blood diseasesin children, and the symptoms also confirm the presence of a problem, he will prescribe special blood tests on the basis of which a diagnosis will be made. There are several blood indicators, according to which the correct functioning of the circulatory system is evaluated.

  • Erythrocytes and hemoglobin. The figures are 4 million and 120, respectively. The color indicator is determined by the color index. The color index can be normal, low (hypochromic) and high (hyperchromic). If these blood counts are lowered, anemia develops, which can be normochromic, hypochromic, or, respectively, hyperchromic. For example, anemia of 1 degree in children is characterized by a decrease in the hemoglobin level by approximately 20 units.
  • The next indicator, to which the laboratory assistant,conducting a study of blood, draws attention to this leukocyte formula. The percentage of leukocyte cells, such as lymphocytes, neutrophils and monocytes, is called the leukocyte formula.
  • Also in the blood formula there are cells called basophils and eosinophils. Their level increases if the child suffers from allergic diseases or helminthic invasion.
  • The content of platelets does not change over the course ofof the life of a person and should normally not be less than 200,000. If the platelet count goes down, symptoms such as systematic bleeding occur, most often nasal, the appearance of petechiae (the so-called pinpoint hemorrhages), bruises. When these symptoms appear in children, parents should immediately consult a hematologist, or in his absence, a pediatrician.

In the event that the child has infectiousor inflammatory diseases, the level of leukocytes immediately increases in the blood, and in the laboratory examination of blood, one can notice the appearance in the blood of single cells that are not yet fully ripe. Such changes are called leukemoid reaction. But if the disease is viral, the level of leukocytes is significantly reduced. There are a huge number of blood disorders, but the most common anemia. For example, anemia in infants has long ceased to amaze doctors. Even more, it is the children of the first two years that most often suffer from this disease. However, anemia can also be of different types:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Hemolytic anemia in children. It occurs much less often than iron deficiency anemia in children, treatment is more complicated.
  • Hypochromic anemia in children occurs quite often, it is a kind of iron deficiency.
  • Aplastic anemia in children is a very serious and dangerous disease, among children with this disease is very high mortality rate.

Iron-deficiency anemia

anemia in children under one year of age The most common type of anemia isit is iron deficiency. Hypochromic anemia in children also refers to iron deficiency. It is treated hypochromic anemia in children, just as usual iron deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia in children symptoms is pronounced, and attentive parents will never miss the pathological changes in the health of children. A child may have a change in behavior, a pronounced pallor of the skin. The blood counts also change sharply in the direction of the decrease in red blood cells - red blood cells and hemoglobin. As mentioned above, hemoglobin contains iron, which is necessary for the normal supply of oxygen to the body. That's why this kind of anemia got its name. Also, iron is extremely necessary not only for the construction of the hemoglobin protein, but also is included in the composition of cellular respiration enzymes. Thus, with a shortage of iron, there is a failure in many metabolic processes of the body. Iron deficiency anemia in young children is more common. The causes of anemia in children are quite diverse. In some cases, anemia arises from the characteristics of intrauterine development, while in others anemia develops due to adverse effects on the body of the child from outside. Anemia in premature infants is very common. This feature is explained by the fact that the child receives the main iron reserve in the last three months of intrauterine development. How strongly anemia is expressed in premature infants depends on the length of time the baby is born. The less the period of pregnancy, the less iron can get from the mother. However, there may be anemia not only in premature infants. The parents of those babies who were born on time are also not to lose their vigilance. Particularly carefully monitor the health of your baby those mothers who during pregnancy had severe toxicosis, especially the second half of pregnancy, as well as chronic diseases. Very often, iron deficiency anemia in young children is caused precisely by the pathological course of pregnancy. Another important reason for the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia in young children is the intensive growth of the baby in the first two years of life. The weight of the baby increases by three or more times during the year. Accordingly, the blood volume increases approximately threefold. The need for iron in crumbs also increases at least three times. This is why anemia in infants is possible. Contrary to the erroneous opinion, nutrition in anemia in children of the first year of life has absolutely no effect on the course of the disease. After all, iron is contained mainly in those foods that children of the first year of life can not be used. But in milk, unfortunately, the iron content is extremely low. Treatment of anemia in children under one year, as a rule, is medicated. Nowadays, there are wonderful iron preparations that raise its level in a matter of days. However, remember that the treatment of anemia in children under one year should only be carried out for the intended purpose and under the strict supervision of your doctor. If anemia in children under one year of treatment is extremely necessary. If parents ignore this disease, hoping that it will pass by itself, it is possible the development of a serious complication. Anemia in children under one year of treatment which is not carried out, leads to extensive oxygen starvation of the whole organism, suppression of the normal operation of the central nervous system, lagging both in the physical and mental development of the baby. And to avoid this is very simple, there is absolutely no difficulty in treating anemia in children under one year. For this purpose, it is enough for parents to consult a doctor who, after having anemia in children under one year of age, will prescribe a treatment that is right for your baby when the symptoms appear, as described above. But nutrition with anemia in children older than one year already plays an important role. The baby's diet significantly expands, and you can adjust it so that more iron enters the body. The highest content of iron in foods such as:

  • Buckwheat grain.
  • Apples and apple juice. Preferably use apples of green varieties.
  • Red beetroot.
  • Meat of low-fat varieties.
  • Liver.
  • Pomegranate juice. However, remember that for children of the second year of life pomegranate juice should be diluted with water in a proportion of 1 to 1 to avoid problems from the gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment of iron deficiency anemia in children, asrule is always effective and does not take much time. It is also necessary to talk about another group of children who are at high risk. These are girls during puberty. During this period of the development of the organism, there is a significant restructuring of the organism and, as a consequence, the level of demand for iron increases significantly. Treatment of iron deficiency anemia in children of this group, unfortunately, usually begins with a large delay. This is connected with the fact that the disease lasts quite long without symptoms. Anemia manifests itself when a condition, called chronic sideropenia in medicine, develops. In other words, chronic iron deficiency. The signs of such anemia in children in children are as follows:

  • Very fast fatigue.
  • The appearance of disgust at the sight and smell of meat and fish.
  • Perversion of appetite - the desire to eat chalk, sand and other inedible things.
  • Drying of a previously normal skin type.
  • Increased brittleness of hair and nails.

If the child has a similar iron deficiency anemiachildren need to start treatment immediately, and much more intense than with the usual, uncomplicated form of the disease. A similar form of iron deficiency anemia in children is dangerous. Treatment often involves the transfusion of blood or its components. Therefore, it is very important to try not to start the development of the disease and even in the absence of complaints periodically take a blood test. After all, treatment of the uncomplicated form of iron deficiency anemia in children does not cause any difficulties.

Hemolytic anemia in children

Hemolytic anemia in children is the second most frequenta disease belonging to the anemia group. This anemia is due to the fact that red blood cells, produced in normal quantities, are destroyed too quickly. Their lifespan is only a few weeks. The causes of anemia in children are usually hereditary. There are two types of this type of anemia, depending on how the inheritance of the disease has occurred. As everyone probably remembers from the school course of general biology, for all signs in the body, there are two kinds of genes - the dominant or the primary, and the recessive or secondary. If the dominant gene is sick, and the recessive gene is healthy, the disease will be dominant. Well, if the disease is caused by a combination of two recessive sick genes, the disease is considered recessive. The recessive type of hemolytic anemia in children is much more severe than the dominant one. However, fortunately, among hemolytic anemias, the dominant type of disease, called anemia of Minkowski-Schoffar, is most often encountered. When a disease of this type of anemia, the destruction of erythrocytes occurs in the spleen, where, in fact, it should happen. But with nesferocytic hemolytic anemia, which is inherited by the recessive type, erythrocytes are destroyed everywhere - in the liver, in the bone marrow, in the spleen. Such anemia in children has the following symptoms:

  • Persistent pallor of the skin at the onset of the disease.
  • With the course of the disease, the yellowness of the skin becomes more pronounced.
  • Periodic increase in body temperature to 30 degrees.

Based on laboratory datablood and well-being, doctors choose tactics how to treat anemia in children. Most often, blood transfusion is done to alleviate the condition of the child. And after stabilizing the condition, doctors often recommend a surgical method for treating hemolytic anemia - splenectomy. Splenectomy is the removal of the spleen, which is responsible for the destruction of erythrocytes. After this operation, a complete clinical cure of a sick child occurs with any degree of severity of dominant hemolytic anemia. However, the genetic defect in a person still remains, and in the future, it is very likely that the disease will be inherited. But the situation in the case of disease with nesferocytic forms of hemolytic anemia is much more complicated. Due to the fact that erythrocytes are subject to destruction in many organs, and not only in the spleen, its removal has only a small effect, and even completely frankly useless.

Aplastic anemia in children

The less common type of anemia ishypoplastic anemia. The causes of anemia in children lie in the fact that for some reason the bone marrow is damaged, as a result of which there is a violation of the normal process of hematopoiesis. At laboratory research of a blood at children with similar kinds of an anemia the reduced maintenance and leucocytes, and thrombocytes and erythrocytes is noted. When puncture the same bone marrow, it reveals an excess of adipose tissue replacing the hematopoietic. Such violations of the bone marrow in rare cases can be inherited, but most often they are acquired. As a rule, it is practically impossible to establish the cause of the lesion - it can be immune, and toxic, and even infectious effects on the bone marrow. Of the hypoplastic anemia group, the most common is aplastic anemia in children. The disease always carries a sudden but stormy start. Aplastic anemia in children symptoms are quite specific and easily recognizable:

  • Very pronounced pallor of the skin.
  • Systematic occurrence of various bleedings, most often nasal.
  • For the emergence of a large subcutaneous hematoma (bruise). It is enough just to touch the baby's skin.
  • Sometimes a slight increase in body temperature is possible.

In the event that the parents noticed at leastSome of the above symptoms, they should immediately consult a doctor. The progression of aplastic anemia in children is very difficult, the disease has the property to progress very quickly. In addition, unfortunately, for this disease, at the slightest delay, the prognosis is very unfavorable. Doctors until now can not come to an unequivocal opinion how to treat anemia in children. Those methods of treatment that give a good positive effect in one case, other children do not help at all. However, most often for the treatment of aplastic anemia, systematic transfusions of erythrocyte blood mass and chemical therapy aimed at restoring normal bone marrow function are practiced. Unfortunately, such therapy does not always give the desired result. In this case, doctors have to resort to a bone marrow transplant. In our time, this procedure is used quite widely, but the indication for it is not the presence of an appropriate disease, but the absence of the effect of the methods of conservative treatment. In order to transplant a child's bone marrow, it must be taken somewhere. That's what a donor is for. However, any willing person can not become a donor. The donor should be compatible with the child in many ways. Unfortunately, parents are often not suitable for the role of donors. In some cases, his brothers or sisters are compatible with the child. Otherwise, the search for a donor is carried out through a special base and often takes a very long time and, unfortunately, it often happens that the kids simply do not wait for it. For a donor, such a procedure is not at all dangerous: the bone marrow is collected by puncturing the iliac bone, under general anesthesia. After this, the bone marrow passes through a special filtering system, after which it is administered to the sick child intravenously. However, not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance. Before the bone marrow transplantation, the necessary thorough preparation with the strongest pharmacological preparations. Otherwise, the probability of rejection is high.

Prevention of anemia in children

iron deficiency anemia in children Of course, it is much wiser not to allowthe occurrence of the disease, than to treat it later. However, the prevention of anemia in children is justified only for iron deficiency anemia. As you can see from all the above written, other types of anemia are either inherited, or the reasons for their occurrence are difficult to establish. Prevention of anemia in children should begin even during pregnancy. It is during the intrauterine development that the baby receives a vital supply of vitamins and trace elements. Iron also belongs to them. That's why the diet of a pregnant woman should be a rich product containing iron. During the last months of pregnancy it is recommended to take vitamins for pregnant women containing iron. After the birth of the baby, the woman must make every effort to breastfeed him as long as possible. With breast milk, the baby gets the iron he needs so much. In the same case, if breastfeeding for some reason is impossible, it is necessary to give preference to vitaminized mixtures with elevated iron content. It is very important to pay attention to the proper nutrition of a child of any age. A properly balanced diet will help the child avoid anemia. If the child already has health problems associated with iron deficiency anemia, it is necessary to completely exclude from his diet products such as black tea, carbonated drinks, chicken eggs and unboiled cow's milk, since they significantly reduce the body's ability to absorb iron. But ascorbic, as, indeed, and all organic acids significantly increases the absorption of iron. In addition to this, the animal protein found in meat and fructose possess this ability. In no case should children be allowed to contact the vapors of toxic substances - paint and varnish materials, household chemicals, fuel and lubricants, etc. These vapors have a very negative effect on the children's body, can cause severe poisoning. And, in addition, they can cause premature decay of red blood cells and even disrupt the normal operation of the bone marrow. It is necessary to ensure that the child spent in the open air for a long time, and also received the necessary physical load for his age. Although doctors do not see the direct connection between walking and the development of anemia, they recognize that children who lead a correct, healthy lifestyle are much less likely to develop anemia. There is a certain "risk group". It includes those children who were born to women:

  • suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
  • who suffered late toxicosis of pregnancy.

Also at risk are children bornpremature or small body weight, twins, as well as those children who have a sharp jump in growth. Parents of such children should closely monitor the health of their crumbs. When symptoms appear, parents should immediately consult a doctor, because anemia of grade 1 in children is treated much easier than a neglected severe form. The information in this article is given in general terms, in order to familiarize parents with the most common blood diseases in children. The aim of the article is to help parents not to miss the symptoms of the disease manifestation. This information is in no case inadmissible to use for diagnosis and self-administration of treatment. Remember that self-medication can result in serious complications. We advise you to read: