Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

  1. Hi
    I have been online this evening trying to get as much info as I
    could on a chronic blood platelet disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura or ITP. (In this case is it 'adult ITP'.)
    As I was looking over the research I found along with the treatment there was sometimes necessary removal of the spleen which involved blood transfusion depending on how dire the medical emergency involving a low platelet count.
    Also, some of the treatments listed also involved blood transfusions. I'm then thinking about a friend of mine who is Jehovah's witnesses and suffers from that disorder...he won't accept that treatment so... I decided to ask here if you could offer
    some suggestions as to alternate treatments and/or share any related success stories.
    Thanks , Ann
  2. Visit nursy_ann profile page

    About nursy_ann

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 63; Likes: 2
    aux nurse, nursing student, PAB, instructor


  3. by   P_RN
    Perhaps first you should ask your friend what options she would accept. Some of that faith will accept reinfusion as long as the blood never leaves the recycle bag.

    Some will also accept medication such as EPO that stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells. You might have seen this medicine advertised on TV for chemotherapy patients who are exhausted.
    Idiopathic means unknown. Thrombocytes are platelets.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Nephew had ITP as 4 yo and resolved with prednisone ( that was 14 years ago). Only treatment experience was several yrs ago

    Found these sites of interest:

    Division of Hematology
    Reference List 2001-2002 --scroll down to ITP; several articles

    RBC Transfusion protocals
    Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: a practice ...

    MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia: Idiopathic thrombocytopenic ...

    In children, the disease often runs its course without treatment.

    In adults, initial treatment with prednisone is given. A splenectomy (removal of the spleen) is indicated if the person does not respond to prednisone. The spleen is the major site of platelet destruction, so a splenectomy will resolve the thrombocytopenia in most people.

    Other treatments (when the disease does not respond to initial treatment) are oral danazol, high dose gamma globulin injections, drugs that suppress the immune system, and passage of the blood over a Protein A (Prosorba) column (which filters antibodies out of the blood stream). Anti-RhD therapy, which destroys cells carrying a specific blood cell molecule, is also useful in some people.

    People with ITP should avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen, because these drugs interfere with platelet function, and bleeding may occur.

    ITP Info from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

    Check out: Platelet Disorder Support Association
    Wealth of info here---be cautious with some non-medical TX recomended.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 17, '03
  5. by   nursy_ann
    I'm glad you took the time to answer me.Thank you so much It was interresting and encouraged me. before to read at your answers I was sure the only treatment would be blood transfusions.
    Thanks again xx