Aplastic Anemia

Disability Benefit and Tax Credit for Aplastic Anemia

 

Introduction

Aplastic anemia strikes when the bone marrow becomes sluggish or cease to produce essential quantities of blood-forming stem cells, which are responsible for the formation of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets. Aplastic anemia becomes apparent when the immune system turns dysfunctional by becoming “self-destructive”, attacking and damaging the body’s own stem cells. As a consequence, blood chemistry studies will show depleted RBCs, WBCs, and platelets causing high vulnerability to symptoms such as general body weakness, exhaustion, infections, easy bruising or hemorrhage. This medical ailment can be categorized into MAA- moderate, SAA- severe or VAA- very severe.

Aplastic anemia is detrimental to a person’s health and his ability to function in day-to-day routine activities. Scanty levels of RBCs can cause extreme fatigue while sparse WBCs potentiates a person to be afflicted with infectious and contagious ailments. As a consequence, the person will have limitations in performing activities of daily living such as walking, running, taking a bath, dressing up, washing the dishes, doing laundry, preparing meals and the rest of routine tasks.

An adult may have difficulty performing tedious work, unable to lift heavy objects, incapable of engaging in energy-draining sports as well as in performing sexual functions. Over all, he may feel incapacitated and this will have a negative impact on him emotionally leading to depression and feelings of worthlessness. Moreover, a child with aplastic anemia may also feel emotionally troubled because of the limited ability to interact and play with fellow children; engage in school activities and diminished ability to concentrate due to susceptibility to getting sickly easily and be short of energy.

 

Causes

Aplastic anemia can strike people regardless of gender, race, and age. But it is more prevalent among older adults, teenagers and children. It is also more likely to occur in people of Asian heritage.  According to a study made by Bakhshi and Baynes in 2004, high incidence of Aplastic anemia among Asians is an end result of exposure to toxic agents rather than genetic factors.

Factors that can disrupt normal bone marrow function and alter blood cell production leading to Aplastic anemia include:

  • Contact with radiation and chemotherapeutic agents which not only extinguish cancer cells but also destroys normal cells as well.
  • Sustained exposure to insecticides, pesticides, benzene and other toxic chemicals.
  • Certain drugs such as antibiotics and drugs prescribed for Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pre-existing medical history of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), HIV infection etc.
  • Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and HIV and other viral infections
  • Pregnancy secondary to a pre-existing autoimmune ailment.

 

Symptoms

In general, a person with Aplastic anemia has complains of recurrent fever and flu-like symptoms, severe fatigue, easy bruising and difficulty in halting bleeding even from very minor injuries, shortness of breath and exhibiting dispersed minute red dots on the skin that suggests bleeding underneath the skin.

Further symptoms may consist of a waxy paleness of the mucous membranes and the skin, bleeding gums, deficient energy in the course of exercise or any other strenuous activities, and ringing in the ears, termed tinnitus. Women in premenopausal stage may possibly manifest prolonged and heavy menstrual flow.

 

Treatment

Increasing the quantity of healthy platelets, WBCs, and keeping blood counts within the normal limits are the primary objective of the medical approach for Aplastic anemia. Desired outcomes are better quality of life and ability to perform functions of daily living. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the healthcare provider will consider treatment approach as follows:

  • Supportive therapeutic regimenwhich typically include transfusion of blood and blood products, use of antibiotics, as well as iron supplements.
  • Immunosuppressive medications for instance Cyclosporine and Antithymocyte Globulin (ATG).
  • Bone marrow transplant to substitute unhealthy stem cells with healthy ones from a matching donor, preferably a family member.

 

Disability Tax Credits for Aplastic anemia

If you or someone you know has Aplastic anemia, please don’t hesitate to contact HandyTax. We help canadians apply for retroactive disability benefits from the Canada Revenue Agency. Our team is dedicated to safeguarding your privacy and providing you with personalized service to your condition.