WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Thrombocytopenic purpura, or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), is a bleeding disorder that occurs when your body does not have enough platelets. Platelets are cells that help your blood clot. ITP causes your immune system to create antibodies against platelets. Then your spleen destroys the platelets. You may not know that you have ITP early in the disease. Symptoms of ITP are often mild, but there may be times that bleeding can be severe and become life-threatening.
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ITP can cause life-threatening bleeding, blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
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- Steroids help increase platelet production.
- Antibodies help stop the destruction or removal of platelets and may help to increase your body's production of platelets.
- Antifibrinolytics help prevent bleeding.
- Blood tests are done to count your platelets and time how long it takes your blood to clot.
- A bone marrow biopsy will show if your bone marrow is making platelets normally.
- Platelet transfusions may be given if your platelets are very low, or healthcare providers need to stop severe bleeding.
- Surgery to remove your spleen may be needed in severe cases to stop platelet destruction.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.