Your doctor will review your medical history. He or she will ask you to describe your symptoms.
Other questions may include:
Do you have close relatives with an inherited form of anemia?
What medications do you take?
Have you recently had a severe infection?
Do you have:
an artificial heart valve
a synthetic graft in your blood vessels
other implants or prostheses
Do you have any other medical problems, particularly autoimmune diseases?
During your physical examination, your doctor will look for signs of anemia. These include:
Pale skin and fingernails
Enlarged spleen and liver
This exam will be followed by blood tests to:
Measure levels of red blood cells
Look at the size and shape of red blood cells
Measure the hemoglobin level
Determine the number of immature red blood cells. The marrow may pour out immature blood cells in an effort to make up for the anemia.
Your doctor may order tests to check for blood in your stool. This identifies anemia that results from blood loss. Other blood tests check for anemia resulting from a lack of iron or certain vitamins in your diet.
Other tests will depend on the suspected cause of your hemolytic anemia.