Published on March 27, 2018

Rapid care for anemia program removes the wait for treatment

Run-down and weak.

That’s how anemia, a common blood disorder, can make you feel.

Rajan Singla“Anemia limits people’s lives and sucks the energy and zest right out of them,” says Rajan Singla, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologist at Nazareth Hospital.

Anemia can have many possible causes—and some can be serious.

For all of these reasons, Nazareth Hospital helps ensure that people with anemia symptoms won’t wait long to get the care they need.

Under a new program, people with anemia who are referred to a specialist by their primary care or other medical provider can be seen and treated within 24 to 48 hours, says Michele Zappile-Lucis, Oncology Service Line Director.

“This is about making sure our anemia patients have quick access to high-quality, effective care,” she says.

What is anemia?

Anemia happens when you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. One common cause is blood loss, perhaps from heavy menstrual periods or digestive tract bleeding, Dr. Singla says. Anemia can also be a side effect of other things, including cancer or weight-loss surgery.

Besides fatigue, other signs and symptoms of anemia include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling cold

There are many ways to treat anemia. Some are fairly simple, such as eating iron-rich foods. But sometimes intravenous (IV) iron infusions, blood transfusions, B vitamin shots or other treatments may be needed, Dr. Singla says.

You can get such treatments—and start feeling better—at Nazareth’s state-of-the-art infusion center.

And if something more serious is going on than just anemia, “This program helps us get to the bottom of it quickly,” Dr. Singla adds.