Aplastic anemia is a rare (5-10 cases per million), a serious condition where the bone marrow fails to produce white cells, red cells, and the platelets. Aplastic anemia is observed in children as well as in adults.
The term Aplastic comes from the word aplasia that means failure of generation or formation. Anemia means a deficiency in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood.
The spongy material inside the bones is called as bone marrow and is like a factory that produces blood cells (red cells, white cells and platelets). In case of Aplastic anemia, bone marrow fails to form or develop blood cells.
The red cells in the blood carry oxygen from the lungs to all areas of the body. In Aplastic anemia with less number of red cells, body parts do not get sufficient oxygen that is absolutely essential for their functioning.
White cells fight infection by attacking and destroying germs and their less number of Aplastic anemia leads to poor defense mechanism making the suffering individual prone to various and at times lethal infections.
Platelets are blood cells that control bleeding by forming blood clots in areas of injury. Reduced platelets lead to blood clotting disorder, whereby blood does not clot naturally, leading to uncontrolled bleeding.