Living With Aplastic Anemia

With prompt and proper care, most people who have aplastic anemia can be successfully treated, and some may be cured.

Most people who have the disorder are able to go back to their normal routines after treatment. However, it may take some time to get good results from treatment. You may need repeated treatments, or you may need to try several treatments to find one that works.

It's important to get ongoing medical care to make sure the disorder doesn't worsen and to check for possible complications.

Ongoing Care

Treatment for aplastic anemia may cause side effects or complications. Talk with your doctor about how to cope with these issues.

People who have aplastic anemia may be at higher risk for infections due to low white blood cell counts. Ask your doctor about ways to lower your risk of infection. For example, you may want to:

  • Stay away from people who are sick and avoid large crowds of people.
  • Avoid certain foods that can expose you to bacteria, such as uncooked foods.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Brush and floss your teeth and get regular dental care to reduce the risk of infections in your mouth and throat.
  • Get a yearly flu shot and pneumonia vaccine. Ask your doctor whether these shots will benefit you.

Know the signs of infection, such as fever. Call your doctor right away if you think you have an infection.

Physical Activity

Talk with your doctor about what types and amounts of physical activity are safe for you. You may want to avoid activities that cause chest pain or shortness of breath. You also may want to stay away from activities that could result in injuries and bleeding, such as contact sports.

Support Groups

You or your family members may find it helpful to know about resources that can give you emotional support and information about aplastic anemia.

Your doctor or hospital social worker may have information about counseling and support services. They also may be able to refer you to support groups that offer help with financial planning, because treatment for aplastic anemia can be costly.


Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.