Hemolysis

Hemolysis Symptoms & Signs

Medical Author:

Hemolysis is the destruction of red blood cells. Hemolysis can occur due to different causes and leads to the release of hemoglobin into the bloodstream. Normal red blood cells (erythrocytes) have a lifespan of about 120 days. After they die they break down and are removed from the circulation by the spleen. In some medical conditions, or as a result of taking certain medications, this breakdown of red blood cells is increased. Red cells may break down due to mechanical damage, such as from artificial heart valves or heart-lung bypass; or they may be destroyed due to defects in the cells themselves. Medications that have been associated with hemolysis include acetaminophen, penicillin, and other pain medications. Hemolytic anemia is the term used to refer to anemia caused by the excess destruction of red blood cells.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/15/2017

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.


Terms related to Hemolysis:

  • Hemolytic Anemia
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Causes of Hemolysis
    • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Article
      • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) facts
      • What does AIDS stand for? What causes AIDS?
      • What is the history of AIDS?
      • What are symptoms and signs of AIDS?
      • What are risk factors for developing AIDS?
      • How is AIDS diagnosed?
      • AIDS vs. HIV
      • What is the treatment for HIV/AIDS?
      • What is the treatment for HIV during pregnancy?
      • What is the treatment for non-HIV-infected people who are exposed to the genital secretions or blood of someone with HIV?
      • What are the complications of HIV?
      • What is the prognosis for HIV infection?
      • Can HIV infection be prevented?
      • Is there a vaccine for HIV?
      • What research is being done to find a cure for HIV?
      • Where can a person find information about clinical trials for HIV and AIDS?
    • Alpha Thalassemia Alpha thalassemia is a disorder in which the alpha globin protein is underproduced. There are two pairs of genes that carry the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Alpha Thalassemia Article
      • Alpha thalassemia facts*
      • What is alpha thalassemia?
      • What are the symptoms of alpha thalassemia?
      • What are the types of alpha thalassemia?
      • How common is alpha thalassemia?
      • What genes are related to alpha thalassemia?
      • How do people inherit alpha thalassemia?
    • Beta Thalassemia Beta Thalassemia is the most familiar type of thalassemia. Thalassemia is not just one disease but rather a complex series of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Beta Thalassemia Article
      • What is beta thalassemia?
      • What are the thalassemias?
      • What is beta thalassemia?
      • What is the difference between thalassemia minor and major?
      • What is Mediterranean anemia?
      • What is the genetic pattern of inheritance of beta thalassemia?
      • The diagnosis of thalassemia major and minor
      • The treatment of thalassemia major
    • Cancer Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cancer Article
      • Cancer facts
      • What is cancer?
      • What are risk factors and causes of cancer?
      • What are cancer symptoms and signs?
      • What are the different types of cancer?
      • What specialists treat cancer?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose cancer?
      • How do physicians determine cancer staging?
      • What is the treatment for cancer?
      • Are there home remedies or alternative treatments for cancer?
      • What is the prognosis for cancer?
      • Is it possible to prevent cancer?
      • Where can people find more information about cancer?
    • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that is spread from person to person via spit, semen, vaginal secretions, urine, blood, sexual...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Article
      • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection facts
      • What is cytomegalovirus (CMV)?
      • What causes cytomegalovirus infection?
      • What are the risk factors for cytomegalovirus infection?
      • Is CMV contagious?
      • How long is cytomegalovirus contagious?
      • How is cytomegalovirus transmitted?
      • What is the incubation period for cytomegalovirus?
      • What are cytomegalovirus infection symptoms and signs?
      • What specialists treat cytomegalovirus infections?
      • How do physicians diagnose cytomegalovirus infection?
      • What is the treatment for cytomegalovirus infection?
      • What is the prognosis of cytomegalovirus infection?
      • What are complications of cytomegalovirus infection?
      • Is it possible to prevent cytomegalovirus infection? Is there a CMV vaccine?
    • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a common cause of mononucleosis (viral pharyngitis). Symptoms and signs of an EBV infection...learn more »
      In This Article
      Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Article
      • Epstein-Barr virus infection facts
      • What is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)?
      • What are causes and risk factors for an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • Is the Epstein-Barr virus contagious?
      • How long is an Epstein-Barr virus infection contagious?
      • How is the Epstein-Barr virus transmitted?
      • What is the incubation period for an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • What are symptoms and signs of an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • What is the treatment for an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • Are there any home remedies for an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • What are possible complications of an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • What is the prognosis of an Epstein-Barr virus infection?
      • Is it possible to prevent an Epstein-Barr virus infection? Is there an EBV vaccine?
    • G6PD Deficiency G6PD deficiency (Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase) leads to a condition called hemolytic anemia. Causes of G6PD deficiency is an...learn more »
      In This Article
      G6PD Deficiency Article
      • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency facts*
      • What is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
      • How common is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
      • What genes are related to glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
      • How do people inherit glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
      • What other names do people use for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
    • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a diseases in which blood clots within the capillaries. Causes associated with HUS...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Article
      • Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) facts
      • What is a "syndrome?"
      • What is hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)?
      • What causes hemolytic uremic syndrome?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome?
      • How is hemolytic uremic syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for hemolytic uremic syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of hemolytic uremic syndrome?
      • How can hemolytic uremic syndrome be prevented?
    • Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G) Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G) Article
      • Viral hepatitis facts
      • Viral hepatitis definition and overview
      • What are the common types of viral hepatitis?
      • Who is at risk for viral hepatitis?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of viral hepatitis?
      • What is acute fulminant hepatitis?
      • What is chronic viral hepatitis?
      • How is viral hepatitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for viral hepatitis?
      • How is viral hepatitis prevented?
      • Hepatitis Vaccinations
      • What is the prognosis of viral hepatitis?
    • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Symptoms and signs...learn more »
      In This Article
      Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Article
      • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) facts
      • What is the history of HIV, and when was HIV discovered? HIV vs. AIDS
      • What tests are used in the diagnosis of HIV?
      • How is HIV spread (transmitted)?
      • What are symptoms and signs of HIV infection and AIDS in men, women, and children?
      • What happens after an exposure to the blood or genital secretions of an HIV-infected person?
      • What laboratory tests are used to monitor HIV-infected people?
      • What are HIV treatments and medications? What are the key principles in managing HIV infection?
      • When should antiviral therapy be started?
      • What is the initial therapy for HIV?
      • What are nucleoside and nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)?
      • What are nonnucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)?
      • What are protease inhibitors?
      • What are fusion inhibitors?
      • What is a CCR5 antagonist?
      • What is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor?
      • What HIV drugs are in development?
      • What are side effects of HIV therapy?
      • What happens if the patient's viral load increases while on HIV therapy?
      • What are the risks of missing doses or stopping antiviral therapy?
      • Should patients with the flu- or mono-like illness of primary HIV infection be treated?
      • What about treatment for HIV during pregnancy?
      • What can be done for people who have severe immunosuppression?
      • What is the future for HIV-infected individuals with regards to treatment simplification and cure research?
      • What is in the future for preventing HIV transmission?
    • Leukemia Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood cells in which the growth and development of the blood cells are abnormal. Strictly...learn more »
      In This Article
      Leukemia Article
      • Leukemia facts
      • What is leukemia? What are the different types of leukemia?
      • What causes leukemia? Is leukemia hereditary?
      • What are leukemia risk factors?
      • What are leukemia symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose leukemia?
      • What is the treatment for leukemia?
      • What are complications of leukemia?
      • What is the prognosis of leukemia?
      • How often does leukemia recur?
      • Is it possible to prevent leukemia?
      • What support groups are available for people with leukemia?
      • What research is being done on leukemia?
    • Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....learn more »
      In This Article
      Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) Article
      • Systemic lupus erythematosus facts
      • What is systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the different types of lupus?
      • What are risk factors and causes of systemic lupus erythematosus? Is lupus contagious? Is lupus hereditary?
      • What is drug-induced lupus?
      • What are lupus symptoms and signs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus?
      • What specialties of health care professionals treat lupus?
      • What is the treatment for systemic lupus? Is there a cure for lupus?
      • Is there a systemic lupus erythematosus diet?
      • How can a lupus patient help prevent disease activity (flares)?
      • How can systemic lupus erythematosus affect pregnancy or the newborn?
      • What is the prognosis of lupus? What does the future hold for people with systemiclupus?
      • Where can one get more information about systemic lupus erythematosus?
    • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, a vital part of the body's immune system. Symptoms and signs include...learn more »
      In This Article
      Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Article
      • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) facts
      • What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the difference between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease (or Hodgkin's lymphoma)?
      • What causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk factors?
      • What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms and signs?
      • What kind of doctors treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • How do physicians diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What are the types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and how is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma staging determined?
      • What is the treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the prognosis and survival rate for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • Is it possible to prevent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • What is the latest research on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
      • Where can people find more information about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
    • Pneumonia Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness...learn more »
    • Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) Article
      • Preeclampsia Facts*
      • What Is High Blood Pressure?
      • What Are the Effects of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
      • What Is Preeclampsia?
      • How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
      • Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
      • How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
      • Does Hypertension or Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Cause Long-Term Heart and Blood Vessel Problems?
    • Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease), a blood disease which shortens life expectancy, is cause by an inherited abnormal...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Article
      • Sickle cell anemia (SCD) facts
      • What is sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia inherited?
      • What conditions promote the sickling (distortion) of the red blood cells in sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia diagnosed?
      • What are the symptoms and treatments of sickle cell anemia?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with sickle cell anemia?
Other Causes of Hemolysis
  • Artificial Heart Valves
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Heart-Lung Bypass Machine
  • HELLP Syndrome
  • Hemodialysis
  • Hereditary Elliptocytosis
  • Hereditary Spherocytosis
  • Hypersplenism
  • Malignant Hypertension
  • Medications
  • Poisonings
  • Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency
  • Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
  • Toxins
  • Transfusion Reaction
  • Wiscott-Aldridge Syndrome
Examples of Medications for Hemolysis


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List