WHAT IS BONE MARROW?
Bone marrow is an important and complex organ, and quite literally our factory for blood cells. Healthy bone marrow works to produce new red and white blood cells and platelets every single day. When bone marrow stops working our bodies become unable to keep up with the constant demand for the new blood cells that our body needs.
WHAT IS BONE MARROW FAILURE SYNDROME (BMFS)?
- BMFS are a collection of medical conditions where the bone marrow stops working – resulting in abnormalities of the blood including severe anemia, increased risk of severe infections and bleeding.
- All BMFS are due to a failure of the bone marrow stem cells.
- BMFS may be acquired (affecting a previously normal marrow) or inherited.
- BMFS occurs when the bone marrow cells have been damaged or have been attacked by the immune system.
- Aplastic anaemia is a disease of the bone marrow and is classified as a Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome.
- Aplastic anaemia is when the bone marrow stops making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for the body.
TYPES OF BMFS
- Acquired BMFS include aplastic anaemia, and the related disorders Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH).
- Inherited BMFS include a range of severe and progressive diseases that often worsen in early adulthood. These include Fanconi Anaemia, Schwachman Diamond Syndrome, Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, Dyskeratosis Congenita, Severe Congenital Neutropaenia, Thrombocytopaenia Absent Radii and Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopaenia
HOW IS BMFS TREATED?
- Transfusions for low red cells or platelets.
- Antibiotics for infections.
- Some types of BMFS (aplastic anaemia) can be treated with immune suppression.
- Some types of BMFS need to be treated with bone marrow transplantation.
To learn more about donating Bone Marrow :
- Aplastic anaemia is most common in ages 15-25
- Up to 5 people per million globally are diagnosed each year with BMFS
- Each year up to 160 Aussies are diagnosed with BMFS