Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is caused by a reduction in the number of RBC a person has due to a lack of iron in the body (Heering,2018). It can make a person feel unusually tired, experience fatigue, weakness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, leg cramps, and pica (Scheinberg,2021).

Treatment Strategies:

1. Administer iron therapy – this could be through oral supplementation, IM injection, or IV. (Heering,2018)

2. Administer blood transfusion (Heering,2018)

3. Refer to a dietician for education regarding dietary changes to include foods high in iron or iron-fortified foods (Heering,2018).

4. Monitor vital signs, iron levels, hemoglobin levels, and other labs for abnormalities (Heering,2018).



1. A challenge that may arise when administering iron therapy is constipation. A patient receiving iron therapy will need to have adequate hydration, eat whole grain foods, get plenty of physical activity ( EBSCO,2019). A patient should start on a low dose of iron initially and gradually increase the dose as tolerated to decrease the likelihood of causing constipation (EBSCO,2019).

2. A challenge that may occur with administering blood transfusions could be a person’s religious beliefs. Some religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses will decline a blood transfusion due to their religious beliefs. Other challenges that may arise could be receiving too much iron from the transfused blood, stress on the patient’s circulatory system due to transfusion, and immune or allergic reactions to the donated blood ( Heering,2019).

3. A challenge that may happen when making a referral to a dietician could be that the patient does not follow through with the referral. They may also not be willing to change their lifestyle and dietary habits in order to increase their iron intake. This could be due to a lack of education or motivation.

4. A challenge that may arise in monitoring the patient’s vital signs, iron levels, hemoglobin, and other labs could be that the patient does not come in for their routine labs or there is a lack of follow-up care. Not coming to appointments could be due to lack of resources such as transportation, lack of education/knowledge, or fear of having lab draws.


EBSCO Medical Review Board (Ed.). (2019). Iron-Deficiency Anemia. Health Library: Evidence-Based Information

Heering, H. R. C., & Smith, N. R. M. C. (2018). Iron Deficiency Anemia in Adults. CINAHL Nursing Guide.

Scheinberg D (Ed.). (2021). Discharge Instructions for Iron Deficiency Anemia-Adult. Health Library: Evidence-Based Information.

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