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Aplastic Anemia
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Aplastic anemia

Aplastic anemia is a bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by peripheral pancytopenia and marrow hypoplasia. Paul Ehrlich, MD, introduced the concept of aplastic anemia in 1888 when he studied the case of a pregnant woman who died of bone marrow failure.

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HEART & BLOOD

Anemia

Coursing through your bloodstream are red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, which all are important to your health. These blood components are produced in your bone marrow - the red, spongy core of many of your bones.

Anemia occurs when blood is low in red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body. Without enough red blood cells, your body can't get all of the oxygen it needs and you feel fatigued.

In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow stops producing enough new blood cells. This means that you have not only a deficit of red blood cells but also a shortage of white blood cells to fight germs and platelets to help blood clot. You're at higher risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

A rare and serious condition, aplastic anemia can develop at any age. The cause is a mistaken immune system response that destroys bone marrow. A condition known as secondary aplastic anemia can develop when bone marrow is damaged by cancer, chemotherapy, certain medications, pregnancy or exposure to toxic substances.

Treatments may include observation for very mild cases, medications, blood transfusions and bone marrow transplantation. Once considered nearly always fatal, aplastic anemia has a much better prognosis today thanks to advances in treatment.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of aplastic anemia and secondary aplastic anemia are caused by a shortage of one or more types of blood cells. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Shortness of breath with exertion

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Pale skin

  • Frequent infections

  • Unexplained bruising

  • Easy bruising

  • Nosebleeds and bleeding gums

  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts

  • Skin rash

  • fever

Aplastic anemia can come on suddenly. The illness may be brief or it may linger chronically. Without treatment, it may progress and become fatal.

 

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In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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