Diamond Blackfan Anaemia is
Community Nursing Team
A parent talks about what life is like for her son who lives with DBA.
DBA affects both boys and girls, and every ethnic group.
Diagnosis is normally made when a child is less than 2 years old.
The two common options for treating DBA are corticosteroids and blood transfusions.
Bone marrow/stem cell transplantation may also be considered.
Some patients may also need Chelation Therapy.
Depending on the patient’s medical condition and his/her doctor’s advice, but most patients are encouraged and able to get some form of physical exercise every day.
Normal physical activity is generally permitted.
Some patients have a family history of DBA.
50% have a genetic cause.
In many cases, they do not know the cause.
Red cell transfusions can also cause a build-up of extra iron in the body which can harm the heart and/or liver, cause diabetes, or slow down normal growth.
Chelation Therapy is used to remove excess iron in body tissues.
In a blood transfusion, a person receives healthy red blood cells from another person.
Transfusions may be needed every 3-5 weeks.
Most families only have one child with DBA.
However, in 10% of cases, there is more than one affected family member.
If you have DBA, there’s a 50% chance your children will have DBA.
Common symptoms are the same as anaemia, including pale skin, sleepiness, rapid heartbeat and a heart murmur.
Bone marrow/stem cell transplantation replaces a patient’s bone marrow/stem cells with those from a healthy, matching donor.
A patient’s old, faulty bone marrow is destroyed to make way for the stem cells.
This leaves the patient in a weakened state for some time, with long stays in hospital likely.
However, there are many people who have been successfully treated after having suffered the symptoms of DBA.
A stem cell transplant is only considered after every other treatment avenue has been exhausted.
Siblings have a 1 in 4 chance of being a match.