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Sickle Cell Disease: Aplastic Crisis

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If a person with sickle cell disease is infected with parvovirus, the virus that causes fifth disease in children, an aplastic crisis may develop. Bone marrow suddenly stops producing red blood cells, which results in sudden and severe anemia. During this time, a person will often feel tired, have pale skin, and be short of breath.

Blood transfusions might be done to treat an aplastic crisis. After a few days, the bone marrow usually recovers on its own. And red blood cell production returns to its usual rate.1

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Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose anemia, your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order blood tests. You can help by providing detailed answers about your symptoms, family medical history, diet, medications you take, alcohol intake, and ethnic background. Your doctor will look for symptoms of anemia and other physical clues that might point to a cause. There are basically three different causes of anemia: blood loss, decreased or faulty red blood cell production, or destruction...

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Most aplastic crises occur in children. This condition only occurs once in any person.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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