Diagnosis

Chronic ITP in Children

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a diagnosis of exclusion. That means that in order to diagnose ITP in children, the doctor will have to rule out other conditions first. This may take several weeks.

 

This might be a stressful time for both you and your child, but it’s important to remain calm and not jump to conclusions. You are not in this alone.

 

Once your child has been diagnosed with ITP, you and your doctors will have to see if his or her platelet counts respond to initial treatment. If after 6 months treatment fails to keep platelet counts up safely and consistently, your child will be diagnosed with chronic ITP.

Who can you talk to for support?

 

Pediatrician: Your child’s main doctor for any health issue

 

Hematologist: A blood specialist

 

Medical staff: Nurses and physician assistants can help you and your child along the chronic ITP journey

 

Social worker or therapist: Chronic ITP can take a toll on your child and the family. These specialists give family members the opportunity to discuss their feelings and to find a way to keep living a normal life

Chronic ITP terms to know

Autoimmune condition

A condition in which the immune system attacks healthy parts of the body

 

Bone marrow

Tissue inside some bones that makes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets

 

Fatigue

Feeling extremely tired without a clear or direct cause

 

Immune system

A system that protects the body from disease

 

Immunosuppressant

A drug that limits the activity of the immune system

 

Infusions/intravenous

Medicine given in a doctor’s office through a needle or tube inserted into a vein

 

Hematologist/Oncologist

Doctors who treat blood disorders and cancer. Hematologists can help rule out other diseases and administer a treatment

 

Petechiae

Pinpoint red or purple dots that appear on the skin as a result of bleeding

 

Platelet

A fragment of a blood cell that helps blood to clot

 

Spleen

An organ that helps the body fight infection

 

Thrombopoietin (TPO)

A protein produced primarily in the liver that controls how many platelets are made