Lightning Learning: Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Lightning Learning: Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

“AML peak incidence is 85-89 years. Often curable, but some will die within 24-48 hours of admission.”
— advice is based on local guidelines & procedures


There are 50-60 new cases a year in Leicester, UK – often curable but some will die in the first 24-48 hours of admission. In 2015 there were 3126 cases in the UK alone.

Peak incidence is 85-89 years

Many will initially present through the ED, but not all are critically ill on presentation. Think of acute leukaemia in patients with:

  • New onset fatigue

  • Anaemia

  • Unresolving infection & fever

  • Unexplained bone pain

  • Abnormal bruising & bleeding


Patients may present with severe sepsis or DIC – manage as per the Sepsis 6 whilst awaiting haematology doctors.

Bloods: FBC, Blood film, Renal function, Electrolyte, Clotting including Fibrinogen, CRP.

Neutropenic? Isolate the patient

If anaemic then transfuse with caution – giving packed red cells to a patient with a high WCC can cause hyperviscous stroke Discuss with Haematology.

In frail co-morbid patients, treatment may not be possible and good palliation is key.

“How are you? Do you really want to know?"

“How are you? Do you really want to know?"

Resus Drills in Practice

Resus Drills in Practice