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.