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What's the difference between "severe anaemia" and regular anaemia?

(4 Posts)
Shallan Tue 19-Aug-14 10:48:09

Ok, so I know I'm anaemic - it's been confirmed by blood tests, I have all the symptoms, and I was prescribed 420mg a day of ferrous fumerate.

I've been asked to go on a work trip tomorrow which involves a flight. As I'm pregnant, I've been checking whether it's ok to fly, and the nhs guidelines say I can fly unless I have "severe anaemia" (apparently it's ok to fly with regular anaemia).

I'm trying to get hold of my gp to ask what counts as "severe" but no joy so far, so wondered if the mighty power of mumsnet can shed any light on this?

lazydog Thu 21-Aug-14 01:37:32

Sounds like you do need to check with your GP, as your pregnancy obviously makes it more important that you don't make the wrong call. (The issue there being that when you're anaemic, your blood has less oxygen carrying capacity. That, combined with the possibility of less oxygen in the air inside cabin, would be more of a medical concern for you than for a non-pregnant anaemic person.)

I might be wrong but, even outside of pregnancy, I don't think there is a specific Hgb level that, when crossed, moves you from the realms of regular anaemia, into being classified as severely anaemic? I think it's generally based on assessment the severity of your symptoms e.g. whether you're breathless at rest, as opposed to just when you're climbing stairs, how it effects heart function (tachycardia), that sort of thing.

That said, I expect that if your Hgb was < 7.0 (or < 70, in the units they use here in Canada) that'd have to be considered severe, regardless, as I think that's the point when my GP said they'd go straight to more direct delivery measures, rather than trying to raise it via iron tablets. (That might just have been his personal opinion, rather than standard practice, though?)

Sorry for being so vague and rambling - I blame my anaemia brain grin

lazydog Thu 21-Aug-14 01:39:20

Ooops! Kind of a redundant reply. I should have read the OP properly. blush So, what did you decide to do...?

Shallan Thu 21-Aug-14 19:05:14

Thanks for the input though! I managed to speak to a dr in the end, and you're right as my hb was below 7 they said I couldn't fly.

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