Harvard Heart Letter

Can a hospital stay make you anemic?

Receiving hospital treatment for a heart attack may lead to anemia. There isn't much you can do to avoid developing anemia during a hospital stay other than asking doctors and nurses to minimize the amount of blood drawn for tests. Preventing the problem is better than trying to fix it, because if you do develop anemia while hospitalized, it isn't clear if treating the anemia — with either iron pills or a drug that stimulates the bone marrow to make more red blood cells — will improve quality of life or post–heart attack survival.
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