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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Hemoglobinopathies: Hemoglobin S Disorders. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Aplastic Crisis

An aplastic crisis occurs when the bone marrow shuts down temporarily due to the continual stimulus for production of erythrocytes. During this time, a severe anemia may be present due to the shortened life span of the RBCs.

Infections that sickle cell patients experience may also arrest RBC production and produce a pancytopenia. Parvovirus B19 is the most common causative infectious agent of aplastic crisis in SCD.