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Immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, is a blood problem. It happens when your child's immune system doesn't work as it should. The condition destroys platelets in the blood.
Platelets are a kind of cell in the blood. They have a sticky surface that helps them form clots to stop bleeding. Blood can't clot if it doesn't have enough platelets. This can cause abnormal bleeding.
The first symptoms of ITP are usually bruises without a known injury and little red dots under the skin from broken blood vessels. Often, a child who is diagnosed with ITP has had a recent cold or viral infection. In most cases, ITP goes away on its own after several months. But in some cases it may last longer.
ITP may not need treatment. But if your child has bleeding that doesn't stop, he or she may need medicine to help prevent the bleeding. If the bleeding is serious, your child may need to have platelets added to his or her blood. Or your child may need surgery to remove the spleen.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter I110 in the search box to learn more about "Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) in Children: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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