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Nursing the canine immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia patient part 2: supportive care and nursing

02 October 2021
11 mins read
Volume 12 · Issue 8
Figure 1. Monitoring vital parameters — chest auscultation.


Patients with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) require substantial nursing care considerations, and can be very unwell on presentation. The registered veterinary nurse (RVN) plays an important role, with comprehensive supportive care of vital importance. Patients with IMHA have the potential for many complications, therefore it is important for the RVN to have knowledge of the condition, its treatment options, and how they may impact the patient's needs. Alongside vigilant nursing, and frequent communication with the clinician, the RVN's impact on these patients can be vast, making them extremely rewarding cases to care for.

Comprehensive supportive care is critical in patients with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA), and is vital to improve the rate of good outcomes (Woolcock and Scott-Moncrieff, 2019). IMHA patients commonly require intensive attention, and can often be quite unwell (Garcia and South-Bodiford, 2012). It is therefore reasonable that these patients may require nursing within a high dependency or critical care setting, especially since Breton (2015) reported the complications of IMHA to be extensive.

Vigilant monitoring and attention to detail are required in the IMHA patient (Bays and Foltz, 2019).

Although courses of treatment will be decided by the veterinary clinician, the registered veterinary nurse (RVN) plays an important role in these patients' care. The presenting signs, the administration of the treatment options prescribed, and the potential complications that may arise, give the RVN much to consider in terms of tailoring their supportive nursing to the individual patient.

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