As the June 2016 issue of Pediatrics in Review went to press, it was spring time in the upper midwestern United States. Jogging by a lake one morning, I saw eight goslings following two grown Canadian Honkers. Walking in the woods, I saw a newborn fawn curled up among blooming bluebells.
These newborn animals provided spring time reminders that the goose and deer populations are thriving.
And, as this blog entry was being finalized, my son’s wife delivered my first grandchild. Eliana is pictured here and demonstrates that another generation of Fischers is off to a good start.Photo by Dr. FischerAs pediatricians, we often look at babies to predict future health. The same can also apply to our care of sick children with anemia.Eliana Mae Fischer
An article in this month’s Pediatrics in Review, Acquired and Congenital Hemolytic Anemia, by Dr. Suzie A. Noronha of the University of Rochester’s Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, New York, reminds us to look for "baby” blood cells (reticulocytes) when we are evaluating children with low hemoglobin levels.
Finding an elevated level of reticulocytes indicates that the body is appropriately resourced and trying to foster future health. Elevated levels of reticulocytes suggest that the cause of the anemia is more likely hemolysis than iron deficiency, for instance.
So, enjoy growing plants, birds, and wildlife around you this season. In your clinics as you see sick children, think, too, of future generations of red blood cells. Remember to check a reticulocyte count when caring for anemic children.