STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Iron deficiency anaemia. Light micrograph of a blood smear from a patient suffering from iron deficiency anaemia. This is the most common form of anaemia worldwide. It is caused by a deficiency of iron, an essential component of the blood pigment haemoglobin. Here, a field of red blood cells is seen. Due to this form of anaemia these cells stain poorly (they are hypochromic). Many of the cells are irregularly shaped and smaller than normal. This reduces their oxygen-carrying capacity. Symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, and pale skin. White blood cells (purple) serve to fight infection. Magnification: x1000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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