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Diagnosis

Chronic ITP in Children

Diagnosis

How will we know whether my child has chronic ITP?

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 acute ITP treatments. If after 6 months those treatments fail to keep up platelet counts safely and consistently, your child will be diagnosed with chronic ITP.

Who are our child’s chronic ITP doctors?

You can expect your chronic ITP health care team to consist of a number of different people. These might include:

 

  • Pediatrician: your child’s main doctor for any health issue

 

  • Hematologist: a blood specialist

 

  • Medical staff: nurses and physician assistants who can help you and your child along the ITP journey

 

  • Social worker or therapist: ITP symptoms can take a toll on your child and the family as a whole. These specialists can help everyone cope

Chronic ITP terms to know

Autoimmune condition

A disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy cells

 

Bone marrow

Tissue inside some bones that makes components of the blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets

 

Hematologist

A doctor who specializes in blood, bone marrow, spleen, and lymph node health

 

Immune system

A system of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body from microorganisms that might cause 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

 

Oncologist

A doctor who treats cancer. You may see an oncologist while your child is being diagnosed or during chronic ITP treatment. The oncologist can help you rule out other diseases. He or she can also administer chemotherapy, a treatment option when ITP becomes a long-term condition

 

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 that is produced primarily in the liver and which controls how many platelets are made