Article Text

Download PDFPDF

746 Consequences of delayed presentation of iron deficiency anaemia during the COVID pandemic
  1. DIAB Osama,
  2. Hema Gandecha,
  3. Gulmeena Rizvi,
  4. Prem Sundaram,
  5. Indira Umezurike
  1. Leicester Royal Infirmary Hospital


Background Anaemia affects roughly a third of the world’s population; half the cases are due to iron deficiency. It is a major and global public health problem that affects child morbidity and mortality. Children aged 0–5 years are particularly at risk.

Treatment strategies include prevention, through food fortification and iron supplementation, and early detection.

Objectives We present two cases with an insidious presentation and complications of iron deficiency anaemia. We highlight a need to do more to educate parents and carers on the importance of not delaying in seeking medical care, during the current pandemic, as in both cases parents did not feel safe to contact services sooner.

Methods Two cases aged 14- and 29-months-old Asian (Indian) girls who presented to the Emergency Department, with sever pallor, tiredness and lack of activity/energy. History revealed that both had been pale for several months; however, parents were hesitant to seek medical advice because of the fear of exposure to corona virus infection.

Full blood count (FBC) showed haemoglobin levels of 16 and 29 g/l respectively.

Other causes like haemoglobinopathy, malignancy and infection were excluded, and the diagnosis of Iron deficiency anaemia was confirmed.

They both had received blood transfusion which was easily avoidable. Fortunately, they were not showing any signs of high output cardiac failure and after four days they were discharged home safely.


Conclusions Delayed presentation of easily preventable health issues is clearly still a problem, during the current pandemic, despite efforts made by health organisations. The message needs to be reiterated and further steps need to be taken towards health education and public orientation through different multimedia messaging to encourage people to seek medical advice early when needed. due to the long-lasting nature of this pandemic, minor problems that may not have been concerning a year ago may now manifest, if left untreated, as serious, or critical illness. It is our collective role as paediatricians and health care professionals to help prevent this occurring.

  • anaemia
  • presentation
  • complications
  • iron deficiency
  • pandemic.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.