A. Impairment caused by anemia should be evaluated according to the ability of the individual to adjust to the reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. A gradual reduction in red cell mass, even to very low values, is often well tolerated in individuals with a healthy cardiovascular system.
B. Chronicity is indicated by persistence of the condition for at least 3 months. The laboratory findings cited must reflect the values reported on more than one examination over that 3-month period.
C. Sickle cell disease refers to a chronic hemolytic anemia associated with sickle cell hemoglobin, either homozygous or in combination with thalassemia or with another abnormal hemoglobin (such as C or F).
Appropriate hematologic evidence for sickle cell disease, such as hemoglobin electrophoresis, must be included. Vasoocclusive or aplastic episodes should be documented by description of severity, frequency, and duration.
Major visceral episodes include meningitis, osteomyelitis, pulmonary infections or infarctions, cerebrovascular accidents, congestive heart failure, genito-urinary involvement, etc.
D. Coagulation defects. Chronic inherited coagulation disorders must be documented by appropriate laboratory evidence. Prophylactic therapy such as with antihemophilic globulin (AHG) concentrate does not in itself imply severity.
E. Acute leukemia. Initial diagnosis of acute leukemia must be based upon definitive bone marrow pathologic evidence. Recurrent disease may be documented by peripheral blood, bone marrow, or cerebrospinal fluid examination. The pathology report must be included.
The acute phase of chronic myelocytic (granulocytic) leukemia should be considered under the requirements for acute leukemia.
The criteria in 7.11 contain the designated duration of disability implicit in the finding of a listed impairment. Following the designated time period, a documented diagnosis itself is no longer sufficient to establish a marked impairment. The level of any remaining impairment must be evaluated on the basis of the medical evidence.
7.01 Category of Impairments, Hemic and Lymphatic System
7.02 Chronic anemia (hematocrit persisting at 30 percent or less due to any cause). With:
A. Requirement of one or more blood transfusions on an average of at least once every 2 months; or
B. Evaluation of the resulting impairment under criteria for the affected body system.
7.05 Sickle cell disease, or one of its variants. With:
A. Documented painful (thrombotic) crises occurring at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication; or
B. Requiring extended hospitalization (beyond emergency care) at least three times during the 12 months prior to adjudication; or
C. Chronic, severe anemia with persistence of hematocrit of 26 percent or less; or
D. Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.
7.06 Chronic thrombocytopenia (due to any cause) with platelet counts repeatedly below 40,000/cubic millimeter. With:
A. At least one spontaneous hemorrhage, requiring transfusion, within 5 months prior to adjudication; or
B. Intracranial bleeding within 12 months prior to adjudication.
7.07 Hereditary telangiectasia with hemorrhage requiring transfusion at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.
7.08 Coagulation defects (hemophilia or a similar disorder) with spontaneous hemorrhage requiring transfusion at least three times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.
7.09 Polycythemia vera (with erythrocytosis, splenomegaly, and leukocytosis or thrombocytosis). Evaluate the resulting impairment under the criteria for the affected body system.
7.10 Myelofibrosis (myeloproliferative syndrome). With:
A. Chronic anemia. Evaluate according to the criteria of Sec. 7.02; or
B. Documented recurrent systemic bacterial infections occurring at least 3 times during the 5 months prior to adjudication; or
C. Intractable bone pain with radiologic evidence of osteosclerosis.
7.11 Acute leukemia. Consider under a disability for 2 1/2 years from the time of initial diagnosis.
7.12 Chronic leukemia. Evaluate according to the criteria of 7.02, 7.06, 7.10B, 7.11, 7.17, or 13.06A.
7.13 Lymphomas. Evaluate under the criteria in 13.06A.
7.14 Macroglobulinemia or heavy chain disease, confirmed by serum or urine protein electrophoresis or immunoelectrophoresias. Evaluate impairment under criteria for affected body system or under 7.02, 7.06, or 7.08.
7.15 Chronic granulocytopenia (due to any cause). With both A and B:
A. Absolute neutrophil counts repeatedly below 1,000 cells/cubic millimeter; and
B. Documented recurrent systemic bacterial infections occurring at least 3 times during the 5 months prior to adjudication.
7.16 Myeloma (confirmed by appropriate serum or urine protein electrophoresis and bone marrow findings). With:
A. Radiologic evidence of bony involvement with intractable bone pain; or
B. Evidence of renal impairment as described in 6.02; or
C. Hypercalcemia with serum calcium levels persistently greater than 11 mg. per deciliter (100 ml.) for at least 1 month despite prescribed therapy; or
D. Plasma cells (100 or more cells/cubic millimeter) in the peripheral blood.
7.17 Aplastic anemias or hematologic malignancies (excluding acute leukemia): With bone marrow transplantation. Consider under a disability for 12 months following transplantation; thereafter, evaluate according to the primary characteristics of the residual impairment.