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Hemolysis

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Updated June 10, 2014

Blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets

Blood contains red cells, white cells, and platelets

Photo (c) A.D.A.M.
Definition: Hemolysis is the breakdown of red blood cells.

Red blood cells normally live for about 120 days. After that, they die and break down. Some diseases cause red blood cells to break down too soon.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body. If red blood cells are breaking down abnormally, there will be fewer of them to carry oxygen.

Some blood tests used to diagnose hemolysis are:

Pronunciation: he-MOL-uh-sis
Alternate Spellings: haemolysis
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