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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Aplastic anemia is when your body stops making new red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. RBCs, WBCs, and platelets are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is soft, spongy tissue inside the bone. RBCs carry oxygen to all the organs and tissues of your body. WBCs help your body fight infection by attacking and killing germs. Platelets stop the bleeding when you are cut or injured.
- Rest as much as possible: Aplastic anemia can cause you to feel more tired than usual.
- Wash your hands often: This will help prevent the spread of germs. Encourage everyone in your house to wash their hands with soap and water after they go to the bathroom. Also wash hands after changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.
- Clean your mouth and gums every day: This will help prevent a mouth infection. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with water at least 2 times each day. Use a soft bristle toothbrush. Change the water in your denture cup every day.
- Avoid people who are sick: The medicines and treatments for aplastic anemia decrease your ability to fight infection. Try to avoid large groups of people. This will decrease your chance of getting sick.
- Be careful: Avoid doing things that would cause you to bump or cut yourself. Do not play contact sports such as football or soccer. Use an electric razor to shave. Use nail clippers or a nail file to keep your nails short and smooth.
You may be given medicine to help manage your anemia at home. Do not take any medicine that contains ibuprofen or aspirin. These medicines can increase your risk of bleeding. Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have sores, redness, or swelling in your mouth or on your skin.
- You have pain or burning when you urinate, or your urine smells bad.
- You have blood in your urine or bowel movements.
- You are dizzy or more tired than usual.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have chest pain.
- You are short of breath, even when you rest.
- You have trouble thinking clearly.
- You have a fever and a stiff neck.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.