What is Aplastic Anemia?

“Aplastic anemia is a disease in which the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells for the body. The 3 types of blood cells your body needs are: red blood cells (to carry oxygen), white blood cells (to fight infection), and platelets (to control bleeding). When all 3 types of blood cells are very low in number, the person has severe aplastic anemia (SAA).

Aplastic anemia is rare. In the United States, about 600-900 people are diagnosed each year, according to the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation. Aplastic anemia occurs more frequently in eastern Asian countries. It can affect people of any age, but it is most common in young adults. For most cases, the cause is unknown.”

*Source: National Marrow Donor Program. For mor information please visit their website >>

*Video credit: John Hopkins Medicine

Aplastic Anemia
is a bone marrow failure disease

It occurs when the body slows or stops the production of healthy blood cells.

It affects bone marrow

Bone marrow is where blood is produced

Bone marrow makes up 3 types of blood cells that the body needs to survive

  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells 
  • Platelets

Aplastic Anemia occurs when all 3 types of blood cells are low or depleted.

*Infographic credit: DKMS.ORG

Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells carry oxygen and are responsible for your basic metabolic system in your body, allowing you to breath, your heart to pump and your brain to function

White Blood Cells

White blood cells help fight infections. They are what fight germs, viruses and bacteria that your body is exposed to.


Platelets are pieces of cells that are responsible for healing wounds & preventing bleeding by forming blood clots. If cut or injured, it is the platelets that make the blood sticky so it can clot and you don't bleed uncontrollably.

*Infographic credit: Novartis

Organizations helping blaze the trail for a cure with research & patient support

The AAMDS International Foundation supports, connects & educates patients & health professionals on bone marrow failure diseases worldwide. They promote & invest in collaborative clinical research for treatments & cures for aplastic anemia, & related bone marrow failure diseases.
AAMDS International Foundation
Be The Match, run by the National Marrow Donor Program manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. They work to save lives through transplant. They provide ground-breaking research, innovative technologies, patient support & education that save lives
Be The Match