DESCRIPTIONThrombocytopenia is reduction of platelets in the blood, which reduces blood clotting and increases the risk of bleeding. This blood condition simultaneously affects all body parts.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Hospitalization to transfuse platelets.
Self-care after diagnosis.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSAbnormal bleeding in the mouth.
A rash of pinpoint-size dots that doesn't fade when the child's skin is pressed.
Blood in the urine.
Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Black, tarry stools.
Signs of anemia: weakness, fatigue, paleness (if bleeding is prolonged).
Use of drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen, aspirin, indomethacin, and phenylbutazone; tricyclic antidepressants; antihistamines; and phenothiazines.
Collagen disorders, such as lupus erythematosus.
Blood transfusions and surgery.
Radiation treatment for cancer.
Enlarged spleen from any cause.
Frequently unknown. The following often precede the disorder:
RISK FACTORSFamily history of a bleeding disorder.
Use of any drug.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Your child should avoid any drug that has lowered the platelet count in the past.
The child should take only drugs that are necessary.
Encourage the child to eat a well-balanced diet.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood studies.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSThe child's spleen may enlarge and require surgical removal.
Usually curable in 2 to 3 weeks if the cause can be treated.
To stop bleeding at any accessible site, apply cold compresses or ice packs and pressure until bleeding stops.
Inform your doctor or dentist that your child has thrombocytopenia.
Avoid surgery for your child, including dental surgery, unless it is essential.
Avoid injections. If your child must have a shot, apply pressure continuously to the injection site for 5 minutes.
Your child should avoid injury whenever possible.
MEDICATIONYour child should stop taking all drugs, including non-prescription drugs (especially aspirin) and vitamins.
Your doctor may prescribe cortisone drugs to reduce the child's autoimmune response.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
ACTIVITYDo not get pregnant while thrombocytopenia is active.
Your child with this condition should not engage in contact sports.
The child should avoid overexertion or dehydration.
If an activity involves a risk of injury, urge your child not to participate until cured.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of thrombocytopenia.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSNew, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
)--especially if fever is present.