Advanced Practice

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: A Case Study Presentation

Jessica Shelly

Michelle Kull

anemia, hemolytic, refractory, splenectomy, hematology, autoimmune disease
CJON 2021, 25(6), 633-636. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.633-636

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition. This article presents a case study of AIHA in a patient with a history of acute myelogenous leukemia in remission. Differentiating the cause and type of HA (extrinsic versus intrinsic) will be discussed, along with information on follow-up and refractory AIHA. Advanced practice RNs (APRNs) play an essential role in the early recognition of HA, as well as the diagnosis, referral, and management of the condition.


  • Unexplained normocytic or macrocytic anemia can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as AIHA. 
  • APRNs are important to the recognition and prompt treatment of the potentially life-threatening complications of HA. 
  • AIHA can often be managed with prednisone, but refractory cases may require additional treatment, such as immunotherapy or splenectomy. 
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