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What is Haemolysis?

The breakdown or destruction of red blood cells is referred to as haemolysis. Haemolysis is the mechanism by which your body kills aged or dysfunctional red blood cells. 

The lifespan of normal red blood cells (erythrocytes) is around 120 days. The spleen breaks them down and removes them from circulation after they die. This breakdown of red blood cells is increased in certain medical conditions or as a result of taking some drugs.

Both red and white blood cells are important for the immune system as they carry oxygen and nutrients to all cells in your body helping them fight infection and control any bleeding.

However, some medical conditions like chronic inflammation may affect the development of red blood cells. They may reduce the development of red blood cells in your bone marrow. This can induce the release of proteins that have an effect on how the body uses iron. Inflammation may also influence how the body makes erythropoietin, a hormone that regulates red blood cell formation.

Acetaminophen, penicillin, and other pain relievers are among the drugs that may influence the breakdown and development of red blood cells. The word “hemolytic anaemia” refers to anaemia caused by the excessive loss of red blood cells.

Other causes of haemolysis

  • Artificial Heart Valves
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Heart-Lung Bypass Machine
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