Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

When I was five, my parents started noticing weird bruises all over my body. They would ask me what I was doing that gave me so many bruises; I never knew what it was. (1: SV; SV.) Finally, my parents took me into the doctor after months of noticing these strange bruises. The doctors ran many tests and took a lot of blood. I was diagnosed with chronic Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura, otherwise known as ITP. ITP is an auto-immune blood disorder that is caused by an untreated viral infection or immune system suppression caused by vaccinations and can be life-altering.
Symptoms of ITP can range dramatically from patient to patient. One of the many symptoms is low blood platelet count. Blood platelets are important for the body: they essentially form clots in the blood to stop bleeding. (3: SV: SV.) According to Michael A. Silverman, author of the article “Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura” posted on Medscape, “Relative marrow failure may contribute to this condition, since studies show that most patients have either normal or diminished platelet production” (1). In other words, a delayed making of marrow is present in most patients with ITP and aids in this disease. Because of this, blood platelets cannot be made as accurately as a normal body would make them. Other symptoms include easy bruising and petechiae (Idiopathic 1). Easy bruising can result from blood vessels becoming weak; consequently, the slightest touch can break them, forming a bruise. (1a: SV; consequently, SV.) Petechiae are small purple, blue, or pink dots resulting from broken blood vessels. Unlike most bruises, they are not painful to touch and usually disappear after a couple of hours. Most symptoms of ITP are not noticeable or painful, but they are early warning signs for a disease that can be very traumatic.
The most serious symptom of ITP is very severe and even life threatening. Intracranial hemorrhaging, better known as a brain aneurism is “The most serious and significant complication […]” (Silverman 2). Blood vessels in the brain become weak and burst. Little amounts of blood platelets exist in the bloodstream, so the bleeding cannot be stopped; the patient eventually bleeds out. (1b: SV, so; SV.) Silverman adds, “Older age and previous history of hemorrhage increases the risk of aneurism or severe bleeding in patients with chronic ITP” (2). This means patients that have experienced uncontrolled, heavy bleeding in the past are more likely to experience it again. Although intracranial hemorrhaging is a very serious symptom of ITP, this occurs in only 1% of children and 5% of adults (Silverman 2).
ITP is thought to be caused by a few different complications. The staff at Mayo Clinic says, “ITP often develops after a viral infection” (Idiopathic 1). ITP can form after a viral infection that wasn’t fully treated. However, most times it vanishes before the patient even notices any symptoms. Another cause of ITP is immune system suppression caused by vaccinations. Every...

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