How Low Can You Go?

As nurses we see wacky, off and plain old disturbing lab values.  But I think I saw a new record the other day:

Hemoglobin 3.2 mg/dL, Hematocrit 13.2%

The freaky thing?  The patient was doing fine.  Alert, well, they only spoke Russian, but they were fighting us.  Vitals were great, pulse in the 80-90’s, BP 140/80.  Maybe a little pale, but otherwise OK.  And refusing blood transfusion.

Figure she had been brewing this for quite awhile and had been able to compensate quite well for it.  After being told in no uncertain terms that, “You will die without blood.” she consented and received 5 units.

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