What would an all-inclusive patient education plan include for a Pernicious anemia patient?
What information can be useful when analyzing the CBC with differential? How can you differentiate between the different types of anemias? How are the treatments different?
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Pernicious anemia is a cause of Vitamin B12 Deficiency. With that being said, it is important to educate patients on the lifelong compliance in obtaining vitamin B12 by injection or possibly orally to avoid relapse of pernicious anemia (NORD, 2005). Furthermore, Vitamin B12 Deficiency can lead to neurological abnormalities. Educating patients on paresthesia, or that â€œpins and needles feelingâ€ in the fingers and/or toes is an early sign of neurologic complications. Severe complications that arise if left untreated would include a condition known as spastic ataxia of the spinal cord (McCance & Huether, 2014).
As mentioned before, patients with pernicious anemia have to have a lifelong commitment to the replacement of B12. It is recommended that intramuscular injections throughout a patientâ€™s life is the key treatment in avoiding relapse of pernicious anemia. Oral absorption is said to not be as effective (NORD, 2005).
When obtaining blood work from patients, in particular a CBC with differential, you are first getting that HGB level which would loosely define anemia. After this, the particular type of anemia can be sorted out based off the the MCV, also known as the mean corpuscular volume. Macrocytic and microcytic anemia is then determined from here with macrocytic anemia being defined as a MCV >100 fL and microcytic as a value <80 fL. Commonly, iron deficiency anemia is the cause of microcytic anemia where as vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly tied to macrocytic anemia. Treatment options differ with the different types of anemia. It could be as simple as taking daily iron tablets for iron deficiency anemia, to lifelong injections of cobalaimin.