Hemolytic crisis is the rapid destruction of large numbers of red blood cells (hemolysis). The destruction occurs much faster than the body can produce new red blood cells.
The part of red blood cells that carries oxygen (hemoglobin) is released into the bloodstream. This can lead to kidney damage.
Causes of hemolysis include:
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Emergency treatment may be necessary. This may include a hospital stay, oxygen, blood transfusions, and other treatments.
When your condition is stable, your doctor or nurse will perform a physical examination and ask about your medical history and symptoms. The physical exam may occasionally show swelling of the spleen (splenomegaly).
Tests that may be done include:
Hemolysis - acute
Schwartz RS. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 163.
Gallagher PG. Hemolytic anemias: red cell membrane and metabolic defects In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 164.
Updated by: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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