Insufficient amount of iron present in the body leads to reduction in serum transferrin (Serum betaglobulin, which binds and transports iron) saturation. This results in decreased production of hemoglobin. As the haemoglobin production lessens, new red cells that are formed become smaller (Microcytic) less well filled with hemoglobin and pale (Hypochromic). Iron deficiency results in reduced haemoglobin levels, diminished red cell formation and reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, resulting in anaemia.
Your responsibility as a nurse is to identify, the symptoms like irritability, loss of appetite mainly for solid foods, pica, pallor, lethargy, listlessness and constipation. The child may appear normal but his potential for growth and development and intellectual performance is effected.
The infant with iron deficiency anaemia is many a times over weight because of excessive intake of milk and is called milk baby. Some children may be underweight because of anorexia.
Diagnostic evaluation includes, thorough dietary history, blood examination which shows fall in RBC count, haemoglobin level (below 11 gm/dl), a lowered packed cell volume (PCV) mean corpuscular volume (MCV) mean cotpusular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC). Peripheral blood smear shows hypochromic, microcytic cells, serum ferritin concentration values below 10 mg/dl and serum iron levels are below 30 mg/dl and total iron binding capacity is elevated to 350 mg/dl. Stool is examined for ova, cysts and occult blood.