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Immune Thrombocytopenia in Children


Immune thrombocytopenia is a bleeding disorder. Immune thrombocytopenia may happen when your child's immune system attacks and destroys his platelets. This causes low platelet levels. Platelets are cells that help the blood clot and stop bleeding. When platelet levels are low, bleeding may occur anywhere in the body. Immune thrombocytopenia may also be called idiopathic thrombocytopenia or ITP. Most ITP in children will get better in a few weeks to months. Medicines may be needed to treat ITP, or it may get better on its own. ITP in children can last for several months to years and can become a chronic condition.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child 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 child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.


  • Steroids help increase platelet levels.
  • Antibodies help stop your child's body from destroying platelets and may help increase platelet levels.


  • Blood tests are done to count your child's platelets and time how long it takes his blood to clot.
  • A bone marrow biopsy will show if your child's bone marrow is making enough platelets.


  • Platelet transfusions may be given if your child's platelet levels are low. Platelet transfusions may also be given to help stop heavy bleeding. Your child may need platelet transfusions before surgery or procedures to help his blood clot.
  • Surgery to remove your child's spleen is rarely needed but may be done to stop his body from destroying platelets.


Your child's thrombocytopenia may go away after treatment or may become a chronic condition. Immune thrombocytopenia can cause life-threatening bleeding, blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.