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Aplastic anaemia is a rare and potentially very serious condition that is the consequence of a reduction in the blood forming cells in the bone marrow. People with aplastic anaemia have low haemoglobin (anaemia), low white blood cells (immune system cells which fight infection) and low platelets (small cells which stop bruising & bleeding).
People with aplastic anaemia may look pale, feel more tired than usual and get breathless easily. As their white blood cells are low, they will be prone to severe infections and a low platelet count will increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
There’s no effective prevention for most cases of aplastic anaemia.
Most aplastic anaemia cases are due to suppression of the bone marrow by the immune system.
A diagnosis of aplastic anaemia may be suspected from the history, physical examination and routine blood tests. A bone marrow biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis of aplastic anaemia and further investigations are usually carried out to try to determine a cause.
Patients with mild aplastic anaemia and have no symptoms will be managed with close observation.