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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Anaemia

Anaemia happens when the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is too low. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s tissues, so a low red blood cell count indicates that the amount of oxygen in your blood is lower than it should be.  Anaemia can be due to many causes but a common cause is a lack of iron in the body. Studies have shown that patients recover much better after surgery when they are not anaemic. 

The aim for surgery is to achieve a haemoglobin level of 130g/L and above in both males and females. 

Oral iron, intravenous iron (through a drip) or B12/folate supplements may be prescribed. Elective procedures may be deferred until anaemia has been investigated, treated and the haemoglobin level has improved.