Aplastic anemia is a serious condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. With fewer blood cells, a child with aplastic anemia has:
Aplastic anemia in children has many causes. Sometimes the cause is unknown. There are many known causes. Aplastic anemia may develop it at some point during childhood. Or, it may be passed down from parent to child.
Acquired causes include:
These are the most common symptoms of aplastic anemia. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of aplastic anemia may look like other blood disorders or medical problems. Always check with your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
Your child's healthcare provider will likely refer you to a hematologist, an expert in blood disorders. Along with a complete medical history and physical exam of your child, tests for aplastic anemia may include:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, general health, and how severe the condition is. Treatment for aplastic anemia also depends on the cause. For mild aplastic anemia, treatment may not be needed. Treatment may include:
With proper treatment, most children with aplastic anemia have no complications.
Without treatment, complications of aplastic anemia include the following:
Work with your child's healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan.
Your child should avoid activities that increase the chance of infection or bleeding. These activities include things like the following:
Each child is different based on how severe his or her symptoms are and what treatment he or she may be getting. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about when you should call. For example, you may be instructed to call if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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