Pediatrics Question #43
Which is the most critical potential complication for a 12-month-old child with moderately
elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit levels?
- Bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Neurological changes.
- Elevated liver enzymes.
- Stunted growth pattern.
The correct answer is B. An elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit occurs when the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells (RBC). These extra RBC make the blood thicker, increasing the risk of blood clots which can increase the risk of a stroke. A decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit are commonly associated with bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. Elevated liver enzymes are rare with a moderately elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit. The child may have bone and joint pain but stunted growth is not a complication of an elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit.