Inside our bones is a soft, spongy tissue called bone marrow. It is the "factory" that makes your blood cells. This includes red cells that carry oxygen to your body, white cells that fight infection, and platelets that stop bleeding. Bone marrow failure happens when your bone marrow is unable keep up with your body's need for healthy blood cells. Aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) are bone marrow failure diseases.

Aplastic Anemia

Aplastic anemia is a rare disease in which the bone marrow stops producing enough blood cells. Any blood cells the marrow does make are completely normal, but there are simply not enough of them to serve the body's needs. With prompt and proper care, most patients can be successfully treated.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a family of rare disorders in which the bone marrow fails to make enough healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Instead, it produces underdeveloped, or immature, cells that have an abnormal shape, size or look. Most experts agree that MDS is a form of blood and bone marrow cancer.

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is an ultra-rare bone marrow failure disease in which red blood cells break apart. Normal red blood cells have a shield of proteins that protect them from coming under attack by the body's own immune system. PNH occurs because that protein shield is missing.  

Related Diseases

Bone marrow failure includes other diseases and conditions that are related to aplastic anemia, MDS and PNH. AAMDSIF extends its programs, services and support to patients and families suffering from these rare diseases as well.