Sickle cell disease Aplastic crisis (1566)

Key points below

What is aplastic crisis?

Aplastic crisis means the body has stopped making red blood cells.  It is caused by a common cold virus called Parvovirus B19.  This virus causes the body to stop making red blood cells for about 7 to 10 days. This will cause blood counts to drop quickly.  The virus can cause serious problems for a person with sickle cell disease.

What are the symptoms?

If any of these symptoms present, go to the Emergency Department.  A doctor must be seen and blood must be drawn right away.    

What will happen in the hospital?

Hand washing is very important to stop the spread of infection to others.


Call the Sickle Cell clinic if you have any concerns or if there are special health care needs not covered by this information.

  • Sickle Cell Clinic: (414) 266-2420, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Ask to talk with a nurse.  
  • After hours, weekends or holidays, call (414) 266-2420.  You will be transferred to the operator if your call is urgent.  Ask for the hematologist on call to be paged.