Aplastic AnemiaDRG cew 395

Mean LOS: 4.3 days Description: MEDICAL: Red Blood Cell Disorders, Age > 17

^Aplastic, or hypoplastic, anemia is a bone marrow failure that is characterized by a decrease in all formed elements of peripheral blood and its bone marrow. If all elements are suppressed—resulting in loss of production of healthy erythrocytes, platelets, and granulocytes—the condition is known as pancytopenia. Onset is often insidious and may become chronic; however, onset may be rapid and overwhelming when the cause is a myelotoxin (a poison that damages the bone marrow).

With complete bone marrow suppression, leukocytic failure may result in fulminating infections, greatly reducing the chances for complete recovery. Less severe cases may have an acute transient course or a chronic course with ultimate recovery, although the platelet count may remain subnormal, thus requiring a lifetime of precautions against bleeding. Aplastic anemia may produce fatal bleeding or infection, however, especially if it is idiopathic or stems from chloramphenicol or infectious hepatitis. Approximately one-third of patients do not respond to immunotherapy; even the responders risk relapse and late-onset disease such as leukemia.

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