Some causes of hemolysis are medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease, different types of infections, lymphoma, tumors, autoimmune disorders and certain prescription medications. Hemolysis, which is when red blood cells are destroyed or damaged, can be the cause of the condition called hemolytic anemia, as noted by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Normally, red blood cells die in about 120 days. However, because of different factors or medical conditions, red blood cells can be destroyed sooner than this time period, as noted by the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. When the bone marrow, which produces red blood cells, cannot make more red blood cells than are destroyed through hemolysis, it can lead to hemolytic anemia.
With hemolytic anemia, there are two ways in which red blood cells can be destroyed. Intrinsic hemolytic occurs when the damage is due to an inherited condition, such as sickle cell disease. With extrinsic hemolytic anemia, the damage to red blood cells develops when red blood cells are destroyed in the spleen. Hemolytic anemia caused by hemolysis can also occur due to medical conditions, including hepatitis, leukemia, Epstein-Barr virus, E. coli, pneumonia, lupus and hemodialysis.
Hemolysis can also be the side effects of medications, such as penicillin and sulfa drugs, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. Additionally, extrinsic hemolytic anemia can be caused by toxins, streptococcus and Wiscott Aldridge syndrome, states Healthline.