Severe anemia may lead to other serious conditions, particularly if oxygen delivery is compromised for long periods of time or RBC destruction is more rapid than can be controlled by normal RBC replacement or specific treatment.
Since white cells may enter the CSF in response to local infection, inflammation, or bleeding, the RBC count is used to correct the WBC count so that it reflects conditions other than hemorrhage or a traumatic tap.
The resulting drop in RBC production can cause loss of muscle control; loss of sensation in the legs, hands, and feet; soreness, slickness, or burning of the tongue; weight loss; or yellow-blue color blindness.
A reticulocyte (young RBCs) count will help determine if anemia is caused by impaired RBC production, as in iron deficiency anemia, or increased RBC destruction as in some other types of anemia.
The MCH is calculated by dividing the hemoglobin concentration in grams per deciliter by the RBC count in millions per microliter, then multiplying by 10.