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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

For Patients & Families

Severe Aplastic Anemia (SAA)

What is Severe Aplastic Anemia?

Severe Aplastic Anemia (SAA) is a disease in which the bone marrow production of all the normal components of blood - red cells, white cells and platelets - is reduced. It is not a cancer although in rare circumstances, it may develop into myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia.


If the aplastic anemia is severe, patients will usually have symptoms as a result of their low blood counts. These include fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, recurrent infections, easy bruising or unusual bleeding. Patients with SAA can be supported with red cell and platelet transfusions for a number of months or years but infections due to a low white cell count can be more difficult to control.


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