Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): Symptoms (Pediatric Nursing)

by Paula Ruedebusch

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    00:01 So what are the signs and symptoms of ITP? This can be a rapid onset, the parents will bring the child in and say they were totally fine the day before.

    00:09 Then they'll develop these small red dots on the skin caused by the broken blood vessels and these are called petechiae and these can be an areas of trauma or an areas where they develop spontaneously.

    00:20 These can coalesce or be bigger and develop purple spots on the skin and these are called the purpura.

    00:26 The patient can have bruising on their arms and legs resulting from seemingly minor bumps and we'll see kids come into the clinic and they will have gone to the bus stop in the morning - no marks no bruises and then they'll get a call from the school nurse, the parents, well around the afternoon, saying you know your child looks injured, you need to come pick them up and they'll swing them into the clinic that afternoon and we'll assess them and the child will say they didn't fall down, they weren't injured at the playground.

    00:50 This is a spontaneous echymosis, it can be pretty impressive.

    00:54 The patient may get frequent or having nosebleeds and this is called epistaxis.

    00:59 There may be heavy bleeding during menstruation, and this is menorrhagia.

    01:02 There can be bleeding from the gums, gingival bleeding and we encourage a soft toothbrush in these patients.

    01:08 There can be blood in the urine called hematuria and other than that, the other physical exam findings are normal.

    01:16 In the diagnosis, the normal platelet count on a patient without ITP is about 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter.

    01:24 ITP can diagnose, be diagnosed when the platelet level drops below 100,000 per microliter.

    01:31 It's a diagnosis of exclusion which means the provider has excluded all other causes of bruising including cancer.

    01:38 You'll gather a complete medical history, usually 1-3 weeks prior the child has had a viral illness.

    01:45 Then you do a full physical exam.

    01:48 You might do some lab work including a CBC and on the CBC, the patient will have an isolated thrombocytopenia which means all other values on the CBC are normal.

    01:59 The peripheral smear on microscopy will also appear normal and when you do clotting studies on the clotting times of these, will also be normal.

    02:08 The patient may get a bone marrow aspiration and this is to evaluate the age and the grade of the platelets in the bone marrow.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): Symptoms (Pediatric Nursing) by Paula Ruedebusch is from the course Blood Disorders – Pediatric Nursing. It contains the following chapters:

    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Diagnosis

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Below 100,000 per microliter
    2. 100,000–250,000 per microliter
    3. Below 150,000 per microliter
    4. Below 50,000 per microliter

    Author of lecture Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): Symptoms (Pediatric Nursing)

     Paula Ruedebusch

    Paula Ruedebusch

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