Approach to severe anemia in children in the emergency room

Akash Nahar and Yaddanapudi Ravindranath

Anemia is a common clinical problem of children and is frequently first identified in the emergency department. Usually, the presentation is nonurgent, and a thorough work-up can be planned in consultation with a hematologist. However, some of the conditions warrant emergent attention and the emergency department physician needs to decide the diagnostic work-up and management before a hematologist sees the patient. This review summarizes the mechanisms of various types of anemias that can present in an emergency setting, and provides a brief overview of the diagnostic work-up and treatment strategies.