• Platelet Disorders in Children

    Platelets are cells in the blood that help control bleeding. If your child has a disorder of platelet number or function, his or her blood may not be able to clot properly and he or she may have a bleeding disorder. 

    Disorders of platelet number or function can be inherited or acquired. Children with reduced numbers of platelets usually have an acquired disorder, which often follows a viral infection. Certain medications may contribute to these disorders.

    Platelet Disorders Treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

    Children with disorders of platelet number or function are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Platelet Function Disorders Program. Continue reading to learn more about platelet function disorders or visit the Platelet Function Disorders Program  homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options for this condition.

    Symptoms & Diagnosis

    Common symptoms of platelet function disorders include:

    • Purpura – purplish color of the skin after blood has leaked under it, forming a bruise
    • Petechiae – small red spots on skin
    • Nosebleeds
    • Bleeding in the mouth and/or gums
    • Bleeding in the head – a rare but dangerous symptom, which can be life-threatening and is usually prompted by head trauma

    Disorders of Platelet Number and Function can be diagnosed through:

    • Complete blood count
    • Looking at the platelets through a microscope
    • Specific tests of platelet function
    • A bone marrow test

    After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.

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  • Treating Blood Disorders

    Dana-Farber/Boston Children's patients with blood disorders have access to a variety of treatment options, including blood transfusions, surgery, advanced new medications and stem cell transplant.