What are the signs and symptoms of beta thalassemia major in children?

Children born with beta thalassemia major (also called Cooley’s anemia) are normal at the beginning,and then they have severe anemia in the first year.

The majority starts having the first symptoms from six months,when the “standard” hemoglobin begins to replace the fetal hemoglobin.

The main signs and symptoms in infants and babies,caused by the lack of oxygen in the blood,are anemia-like and can include:

  • Bone deformities in the face
  • Fatigue
  • Slowed growth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellow discoloration of skin (jaundice) or whites of the eyes
  • Weakness
  • A pale and listless appearance
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Dark urine (a sign that red blood cells are having problems)
  • Poor appetite
  • Enlarged organs like spleen,liver,and heart
  • Fussiness
  • Greater susceptibility to infections
  • Failure to thrive
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Poor feeding
  • Skeletal deformities

When to meet a doctor
If you child has some of these signs or symptoms,call your doctor and ask for an appointment. He will then suggests you the right tests to be done,and he will give a diagnosis and will tell you if your child has to start doing regular blood transfusions.

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