Exclude 'specific' anaemias (iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, haemolysis, acute haemorrhage, myelodysplastic syndrome and malignanat haematological diseases). This can be done with basic investigations of anaemia . Assess whether the severity of the anaemia can be explained by the severity of the primary disease. Avoid unnecessary iron therapy in secondary anaemia, but aim at finding those patients who would benefit from iron, i.e. who have combined anaemia.