A man of Mediterranean ancestry goes to his doctor with the following symptoms: he is very tired all of the time, and he has difficulty catching his breath after even mild exercise. His doctor orders the following tests: CBC, hematocrit, and differential WBC count. The tests show immature erythrocytes, fragile erythrocytes, and less than 2 million RBCs per cubic millimeter. What would be a tentative diagnosis and suggested treatment?
The diagnosis is thalassemia. The treatment is blood transfusion.