(Formerly known as autoimmune hemolytic anemia or AIHA)
Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia is a condition where the patient’s immune system begins attacking his or her own red blood cells. What occurs on a microscopic level is this: the branch of the immune system that produces antibodies begins to direct them against the patient’s own red blood cells. The red blood cells become quickly coated with tiny antibody proteins, essentially marking these red blood cells for destruction. When too many red blood cells are destroyed the patient is said to be anemic, and will feel cold and weak.