The nurse is caring for a patient with thalassemia major. What body appearance is associated with thalassemia major?


•As bone marrow becomes hyperactive, this causes the characteristic changes in the shape of the skull (parietal and frontal bossing) and protrusion of the upper teeth with marked malocclusion.

•Thalassemia major is a beta-chain hemoglobin defect. Symptoms do not become apparent until the child’s fetal hemoglobin has largely been replaced by adult hemoglobin during the second half of the first year of life.

•Thalassemia major is a genetic disorder that causes a decrease in hemoglobin formation. Thalassemia causes an abnormal production of a protein responsible for iron absorption, leading to lethal iron overload.

•Hypogonadism, pallor, and a protruding abdomen due to hepatomegaly are likely to occur.

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