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Aplastic Anemia: Signs and Diagnosis (Pediatric Nursing)

by Paula Ruedebusch

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    00:01 The signs and symptoms of aplastic anemia have to do with the diminished production of these different blood cells.

    00:06 Let's talk about the diminished red blood cells or anemia.

    00:10 Signs and symptoms consistent with anemia are: fatigue, shortness of breath with exertion, rapid or irregular heart rate as the patient tries to quickly move the blood around, pale skin, dizziness and headache.

    00:24 Signs and symptoms associated with the low white blood cell count or neutropenia would be frequent or prolonged infection.

    00:31 And finally the signs and symptoms of low platelets or thrombocytopenia include unexplained or easy bruising, patients get recurrent or long nose bleeds and bleeding gums, and then prolonged bleeding from their cuts.

    00:44 Tthere is a stepwise approach to the evaluation of a patient suspected of having aplastic anemia.

    00:49 First a patients personal and family medical histories will be gathered.

    00:55 Patients of concern for having aplastic anemia will usually have signs and symptoms of anemia.

    01:00 They will usually have frequent infections and they will have easy bleeding or bruising.

    01:05 This constellation of symptoms will increase your clinical suspicion for aplastic anemia.

    01:10 Then the clinician will perform a physical exam to assess the patient.

    01:14 This includes interpretation of the vital signs and assesment of the cardiac and respiratory systems as well as evaluation of the skin to check for pallor or bruising.

    01:25 You can do a complete blood count and this is gonna show a low count of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets Now these cells are gonna be normocytic and normochromic because the cells are normal size and have a normal amount of hemoglobin, they just aren't enough.

    01:41 Remember aplastic anemia is an issue of quantity not quality.

    01:45 You can do a bone marrow biopsy and this will help confirm the diagnosis.

    01:50 In this procedure, a clinician uses a needle to remove a small sample of bone marrow from a large bone in the patient's body, usually in the pelvis called the posterior iliac crest.

    02:00 The bone marrow sample's going to be examined under a microscope to rule out other blood related diseases.

    02:06 In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow will be hypocellular since fewer cells are present and there will not be any malignant infiltrates because this is not a cancerous condition.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Aplastic Anemia: Signs and Diagnosis (Pediatric Nursing) by Paula Ruedebusch is from the course Blood Disorders – Pediatric Nursing. It contains the following chapters:

    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Diagnosis

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. At risk for frequent or prolonged infections
    2. At risk for unexplained or easily bruising
    3. Will have prolonged bleeding from cuts
    4. At risk for recurring nosebleeds

    Author of lecture Aplastic Anemia: Signs and Diagnosis (Pediatric Nursing)

     Paula Ruedebusch

    Paula Ruedebusch


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