Many reports have been published of hemoglobin and erythrocyte determinations in pregnancy, and the accepted belief is generally that there is a decrease in both, producing an anemia which has been called the physiologic anemia of pregnancy. The hemoglobin and erythrocytes are decreased occasionally to such a degree that the anemia has been termed the pernicious anemia of pregnancy. Various theories have been advanced as to the cause of this disease. Some authors suggest excessive demands of the fetus for iron; others believe that there is a dietary cause on the part of the mother, and others that a hemolysin is produced by the syncytial cells. Irrespective of the cause of the severe anemia, the treatment is of paramount importance because the maternal and fetal mortalities are very high.
Balfour,1 reporting 150 cases of severe anemia in pregnancy in India, stated that 42 per cent of the mothers and
DIECKMANN WJ, WEGNER CR. STUDIES OF THE BLOOD IN NORMAL PREGNANCY: II. HEMOGLOBIN, HEMATOCRIT AND ERYTHROCYTE DETERMINATIONS AND TOTAL AMOUNT OF VARIATIONS OF EACH. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1934;53(2):188–207. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.1934.00160080025002
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