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      Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
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Living With Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

If you have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP):

  • Stay away from medicines that may affect platelets and increase your chance of bleeding. Common examples are aspirin or ibuprofen. Be careful when using over-the-counter medicines, as many of them do contain aspirin or ibuprofen. Tell your doctor about all of the over-the-counter medicines you take, including vitamins, supplements, or herbal remedies, as they could contain substances that increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Avoid injuries that can cause bruising and bleeding. Take precautions such as regular use of seatbelts and wearing gloves when working with knives and other tools. If your child has ITP, protecting him or her from injuries, especially head injuries that could cause bleeding in the brain, is important. Ask your child’s doctor whether you need to restrict your child’s activities.
  • Find a doctor who is familiar with treating ITP patients. Hematologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating blood diseases and disorders.
  • Watch for symptoms of infection, such as fever, and report them to your doctor promptly. If you have had your spleen removed, you may be more likely to become ill from certain types of infections. People who have had a splenectomy should receive certain vaccinations to prevent these infections. Your doctor can tell you which vaccinations you should have.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura in Pregnancy

In women who are pregnant and have ITP, the ITP usually doesn’t affect the baby. However, some babies born to mothers with ITP are born with or develop low numbers of platelets soon after birth. Their platelets almost always return to normal without any treatment. Treatment can speed the recovery in the few babies whose platelet counts are very low.

Treatment for ITP during pregnancy depends on the woman’s platelet count. If treatment is needed, the doctor will take a close look at the possible effects of the treatment on the unborn baby.

Women who have milder cases of ITP can usually go through pregnancy without treatment. Pregnant women with very low platelet counts or a lot of bleeding are more likely to have serious heavy bleeding during delivery or afterward. To prevent serious bleeding, these women are usually treated.

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