Pediatric Thrombocytopenia

What is Pediatric Thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia occurs when there are not adequate amounts of platelets in the blood. This causes the blood to be unable to clot properly. Pediatric thrombocytopenia refers to this condition in children.

The biggest cause of pediatric thrombocytopenia is immune system thrombocytopenia, also known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Other causes include infections that occur in a fetus or a newborn as a result of exposure to viruses, bacteria, syphilis, or rubella. Lymphoma, leukemia, bone marrow failure, medication side effects, exposure to toxic substances, and sepsis can also cause pediatric thrombocytopenia.

What are the Symptoms of Pediatric Thrombocytopenia?

Symptoms that are associated with pediatric thrombocytopenia include bruising, the occurrence of small red spots known as petechiae on the child’s skin, jaundice, and signs of bleeding within other systems in the body.

Pediatric Thrombocytopenia Causes

Pediatric Thrombocytopenia is a condition in children where they have too few platelets in their bloodstreams. Platelets are essential in the formation of blood clots and the prevention of bleeding. There are two categories of Pediatric Thrombocytopenia. The first is an increase in the destruction of existing platelets. There can be several causes of this, including immune-related disorders, certain medications, Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome, or some forms of liver disease. The second form involves the decreased production of platelets. This form can be caused by infection, acute lymphoblastic leukemia or other cancers of the blood, a genetic condition that impairs platelet production or some deficit in the child’s nutrition. Treatment can involve medication or blood infusions. However, Pediatric Thrombocytopenia most often occurs idiopathically and may go away on its own without treatment of any kind within six months of initial manifestation.

How is Pediatric Thrombocytopenia Treated?

Treatment for pediatric thrombocytopenia will depend upon the actual cause of the condition in a particular patient. A blood transfusion that includes platelets might be required.

In children with ITP, treatment may not be required. Instead, the doctor may want to closely monitor the platelet counts while working on preventing any serious bleeding problems in order to let the body heal on its own. When treatments are utilized, they may include steroids, intravenous gamma globulin (IVGG), treatment for an infection, a change in medication if that is the cause of the condition, hormone therapy, splenectomy, and immune globulin.

Pediatric Thrombocytopenia Prevention

Measures to prevent Pediatric Thrombocytopenia would only be effective in those forms that are caused by some sort of infection, medication or nutritional deficiency. In terms of infection, medical attention, a full course of antibiotics and management of fever could prevent the onset of thrombocytopenia. For children who may be at higher risk of developing this condition, avoidance of any kind of anti-coagulating medication would be critical. This would include aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Proper nutrition for young people is vitally important for overall good health, but would also be important to prevent the development of thrombocytopenia. Appropriate levels of iron and folic acid in the diet are essential. If Idiopathic Pediatric Thrombocytopenia is suspected or has been diagnosed and the underlying cause is not known, restriction from certain activities would also be indicated simply to prevent the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. This restriction would include contact sports and other trauma precautions.