Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder. It is a reduction in the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets are small cells in your blood that stick together to form blood clots. These clots help stop bleeding at injury sites. Low platelet levels with ITP makes it easier to develop bruises or bleed even with minor injuries.
There are 2 forms of ITP:
Acute thrombocytopenic purpura: This is most commonly seen in young children (2 years to 6 years old). The symptoms may follow a viral illness, such as chickenpox. Acute ITP usually has a very sudden onset and the symptoms usually disappear in less than 6 months (often within a few weeks). Treatment is often not needed. The disorder usually does not recur. Acute ITP is the most common form of the disorder.
Chronic thrombocytopenic purpura: The onset of the disorder can happen at any age, and the symptoms can last a minimum of 6 months, several years, or a lifetime. Adults have this form more often than children, but it does affect adolescents. Females have it 2 times to 3 times more often than males. Chronic ITP can recur often and requires continual follow-up care with a blood specialist (haematologist).
You can't prevent idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), but you can prevent its complications.
Talk to your doctor about which medicines you can take. Your doctor may advise you to avoid medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen that can affect your platelets and increase your risk of bleeding.
Protect yourself from injuries that can cause bruising or bleeding.
Seek treatment right away if you develop any infections. Report any symptoms of infection, such as a fever, to your doctor. This is very important for people with ITP who have had their spleens removed.
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