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recovery from blood loss

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I lost about 2 pints of blood 5 days ago, it was as a result of a bleed from an operation I had 2
weeks ago. I went into hospital and was discharged 3 days ago, the doctor's felt I was doing fine,
my haemoglobin count was a little low but that was to be expected. I was already pretty weak from
the operation before the bleed, but after the blood loss I've been feeling really weak, just
standing up makes me dizzy, and up till yesterday I was sleeping a lot and taking it easy.

However last night I started doing things again (I had a commitment I just couldn't miss), and
since then I feel very different. Before, although I was feeling weak and constantly sleepy, I felt
otherwise well (if that makes any sense!). But since I started doing things, I've stopped feeling
tired but started feeling quite achey and cold, and generally like I'm no longer recovering. Is
this normal, have I just over-exerted myself? What I don't understand is why I'm no longer feeling
tired, even though I'm feeling a lot worse in other ways. Is it an adrenaline thing? A
psychological thing?

Thanks.
post #2 of 4

Re: recovery from blood loss

If your Hematocrit was 45% before all this started two pints would drop you to the mid thirties.
That's a guess, but probably not too far off. You should take iron. To whatever extent your anemia
is contributing to your symptoms will resolve more quickly.

Peabody wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I lost about 2 pints of blood 5 days ago, it was as a result of a bleed from an operation I
> had 2 weeks ago. I went into hospital and was discharged 3 days ago, the doctor's felt I was
> doing fine, my haemoglobin count was a little low but that was to be expected. I was already
> pretty weak from the operation before the bleed, but after the blood loss I've been feeling
> really weak, just standing up makes me dizzy, and up till yesterday I was sleeping a lot and
> taking it easy.
>
> However last night I started doing things again (I had a commitment I just couldn't miss), and
> since then I feel very different. Before, although I was feeling weak and constantly sleepy, I
> felt otherwise well (if that makes any sense!). But since I started doing things, I've stopped
> feeling tired but started feeling quite achey and cold, and generally like I'm no longer
> recovering. Is this normal, have I just over-exerted myself? What I don't understand is why I'm
> no longer feeling tired, even though I'm feeling a lot worse in other ways. Is it an adrenaline
> thing? A psychological thing?
>
> Thanks.
post #3 of 4

Re: recovery from blood loss

Dr. Fink's statement was confusing. When you lose two pints your volume replacement occurs very
quickly. Your Hgb, however takes much longeer to return to normal, to the point where you could
donate again. I'm sure he knows this.

"Keith F. Lynch" wrote:
>
> "Robert A. Fink, M. D." <rafink@attglobal.net> wrote:
> > Replacement of two pints of blood, in an otherwise healthy person, should not require more than
> > a couple of days.
>
> Why does the Red Cross require you to wait eight weeks between donations of one pint?
>
> Could I really donate a pint every day or two, for decades?
> --
> Keith F. Lynch - kfl@keithlynch.net - http://keithlynch.net/ I always welcome replies to my e-
> mail, postings, and web pages, but unsolicited bulk e-mail (spam) is not acceptable. Please do not
> send me HTML, "rich text," or attachments, as all such email is discarded unread.
post #4 of 4

Re: recovery from blood loss

"Keith F. Lynch" <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote in message news:<bm5b4c$klv$1@panix3.panix.com>...
> "Robert A. Fink, M. D." <rafink@attglobal.net> wrote:
> > Replacement of two pints of blood, in an otherwise healthy person, should not require more than
> > a couple of days.
>
> Why does the Red Cross require you to wait eight weeks between donations of one pint?
>
> Could I really donate a pint every day or two, for decades?

Obviously not. It's takes a day or two to replace the salt and water from donation of 20% of
your blood, but it takes a week or two to replace the proteins, and a month or two to replace
the red cells.

Now, the last figure is obviously extremely variable. A young healthy vitamin and iron replete
person with a very low red cell count (giving them maximum drive for replacement) can make 3% of
total red cell mass a day or more. So in theory you could replace 2 pints (20% of total) in a week.
In practice that doesn't happen because rate goes down as you get close to being back to normal
(it's inverse exponential because replacement rate is proportional to relative lack), and most
people who lose blood are not maximally healthy and optimally youthful. So that week stretches quite
a lot. The eight weeks of the red cross gives time for all contingencies.

Beyond that, even an iron replete person (average young man, say) has only has enough iron stores to
replace about half their blood volume, so if you keep taking blood faster than they can eat iron,
they begin to slow way down in red cell production after they've replaced about the fifth pint or
so. Only iron overloaded folks can keep donating blood every couple of weeks, after the second or
third month.

SBH
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