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Pancytopenia in Children


Your child is at risk for infection and bleeding. There are several things you can do to help prevent infection and bleeding. Your child may also feel very tired. Help balance your child's activity with rest to prevent extreme tiredness.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child cannot be woken.
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • You cannot stop the bleeding from your child's wound even after you hold firm pressure for 10 minutes.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child has blood in his or her urine or bowel movement.
  • Your child feels dizzy or he or she faints.
  • Your child's heart is beating faster than usual.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a rash or red or purple dots on his or her skin.
  • Your child feels more tired than usual.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


  • Medicines may be given to treat the cause of pancytopenia.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Balance your child's activity with rest:

Rest will help your child save energy for other activities. Your child should do activities when his or her energy levels are the highest. Do not plan too many activities for your child in one day.

Prevent or control bleeding:

  • Do not give your child aspirin or NSAIDs. These medicines can cause your child to bleed and bruise more easily.
  • Use caution with skin and mouth care. Have your child use a soft washcloth and a soft toothbrush. This can keep your child's skin and gums from bleeding. Keep your child's nails trimmed to prevent scratches.
  • Apply firm, steady pressure to stop bleeding from a wound. Apply pressure with a clean gauze or towel for 5 to 10 minutes. Call 911 if bleeding becomes heavy or does not stop.
  • Do not let your child play contact sports or do activities that can cause bleeding. Ask your healthcare provider what activities are safe for your child to do.

Prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands and your child's hands often. Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your child away from crowds and anyone who may be sick. Do not let your child return to school or daycare until his or her healthcare provider says it is okay. Ask your child's healthcare provider if he or she needs to wear a mask in public places.
  • Offer your child low-bacteria foods as directed. This will help decrease your child's risk for an infection. You will need to choose, prepare, and cook foods that contain a low amount of bacteria. Examples include pasteurized milk, well-cooked meats, and cooked pasta. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information on a low-bacteria diet.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your child may need to return for blood tests frequently. He or she may also need regular blood transfusions. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Pancytopenia in Children (Discharge Care)

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