Worldwide Reports

No Bad Blood—Surviving Severe Anemia Without Transfusion

Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD | Jama |
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


A 51-year-old female Jehovah’s Witness with a history of uterine fibroids traveled from her home country of Colombia to the US for a 2-month visit to assist her daughter in caring for her newborn baby. Soon after arriving in the US, she experienced heavy vaginal bleeding that continued for 2 weeks. She developed dyspnea with exertion, chest pain, and fatigue. She went to an urgent care center for evaluation and was found to have a hemoglobin level of 4.6 g/dL (range, 11.0-14.5 g/dL; to convert to g/L, multiply by 10.0); she was then referred to a local hospital for further care. The patient recalled that on a recent laboratory test, her hemoglobin level was 14 g/dL.

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