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Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which there are too few platelets in the blood. Platelets are the cells that are needed for clotting. They are made in the bone marrow .
Thrombocytopenia may be caused by infections in the baby while it's in the womb, or right after he or she is born. Some of these infections include:
Rubella or syphilis
Bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
A baby can also get it if a mother's immune system produces antibodies against the baby's platelets. Some medications taken by the mother or given to the baby can cause thrombocytopenia.
If the baby doesn't have enough platelets he or she may have bleeding into the tissues. Bruising of the skin is common. With bleeding, the red blood cells break down, producing bilirubin. Bilirubin can builds up in the blood, causing jaundice. Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin. Excessive bleeding, called hemorrhage, can be dangerous and can affect the brain and other body systems.
Each baby may experience symptoms differently. Some symptoms of thrombocytopenia are:
Bruising or petechiae (small red spots on the skin)
Signs of bleeding in other body systems
The symptoms of thrombocytopenia sometimes look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see your baby's health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your baby's health care provider will check his or her medical history and do a physical examination. Laboratory tests of the blood can show decreased platelet counts.
Your baby's health care provider will figure out the best treatment for your baby based on:
How old your baby is
His or her overall health, and medical history
How sick your baby is
How well your baby can handle specific medications, procedures, or therapies
How long the disease is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
Treatment usually depends on the cause of the thrombocytopenia. Blood transfusion with platelets may be needed.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.