A child with thalassemia may have an impaired quality of life.
Domains that may be affected by thalassemia:
(4) school functioning
Anemia may be associated with
(3) decreased mental alterness
Factors affecting the child's quality of life:
(1) severe thalassemia (see below)
(2) chelation therapy
(3) a history of blood transfusion(s) during the previous 3 months
Severe thalassemia is indicated by:
(1) age at onset < 2 years of age AND age of first transfusion < 4 years
(2) homozygous beta-thalassemia
(3) hemoglobin prior to transfusion < 7 grams
A child with severe thalassemia is often transfusion dependent (> 8 blood transfusion per year). A history of transfusion in the past 3 months suggests a high annual blood transfusion rate.
Chelation therapy has a negative effect on school functioning but it is necessary to prevent complications later.
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