Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fun-a-day 4: Anemia

OK, so maybe anemia isn't so fun, but it can be fun to look at on a blood smear, and fun to paint with thread...

Anemia, is essentially a lack of red blood cells, or a disorder of them.  Sudden anemia can occur after a trauma, such as a car accident, major operation, or childbirth (which can be rather traumatic).  A sudden loss of blood really doesn't show up on a blood smear.  The hospital's instruments detect the blood loss in the CBC.  More commonly though, anemia takes a bit of time, because it's due to diet (as in iron deficiency), genetics (as in sickle cell anemia), or due to various other medical problems.

The most common anemia I saw was iron deficiency, which is very common in women, especially when they're pregnant.  It's something I myself have faced, so I thought I'd do a quilt block of what it looks like on the slide.
The red blood cells in iron deficiency anemia are smaller than normal (microcytic), and have less hemoglobin, so they are paler (hypochromic), and look like thin rings.  Instead of being nice equal sized, they can also start varying in size (anisocytosis), and shape (poikilocytosis - isn't that a FUN word?).

Stay tuned for tomorrow.  I think I'm going to do a "poik" block... all the different abnormal RCB shapes.

And it's Tuesday, so Quilt Story is having their fabric Tuesday link party.  Head over there for some inspiration and fun!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that was interesting and educational too! Are you making a special quilt? =)

Becky said...

Thanks! I'm doing a January quilt that's also a community art project. We are all spending a little bit of time each day in January doing something creative, then getting together in February to share!!

Anonymous said...

hey I have been doing some acrylic painting but nothing that comes close to this...very nice

Quiltstory said...

That is cool. Good work! Thanks for linking to Quiltstory!