Thrombocytopenic Purpura

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.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

ITP can cause life-threatening bleeding, blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • 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.

Tests:

  • 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.

Treatment:

  • 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.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

Learn more about Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Inpatient Care)

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