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Normal platelet count is in the range of 150,000 to 450,000. With ITP, the platelet count is less than 100,000. By the time significant bleeding occurs, your child may have a platelet count of less than 10,000. The lower the platelet count, the greater the risk of bleeding.
Platelets are essential for the formation of a blood clot. Blood clots consist of a mass of fibers and blood cells. Platelets travel to a damaged area and stick together to form a plug whenever a person is cut, for example. If there are not enough platelets, a clot cannot be formed, resulting in more bleeding.
Symptoms of ITP
Because platelets help stop bleeding, the symptoms of ITP are related to increased bleeding. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Purpura: The purple color of the skin after blood has "leaked" under it. A bruise is blood under the skin. Children with ITP may have large bruises from no known trauma. Bruises can appear at the joints of elbows and knees just from movement.
Petechia: Tiny red dots under the skin that are a result of very small bleeds.
Bleedingin the mouth and/or in and around the gums
Blood in the vomit, urine or stool
Bleeding in the head: This is the most dangerous symptom of ITP. Head injury that occurs when there are not enough platelets to stop the bleeding can be life-threatening.
The symptoms of ITP may resemble other medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis. Learn more about how we diagnose ITP at Stanford.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!