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Our centre specialises in the care of children with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and other platelet disorders. The service aims to provide timely assessment of all children who are suspected to have such disorders and to provide expert medical and nursing care.

We are a UK paediatric ITP clinical centre providing clinical services to local patients and also nationally. We provide a comprehensive service for the medical management of children with including a dedicated teenage and young adult transition service. We provide 3 monthly virtual MDT meetings with all our shared care hospitals and other ITP clinical centres.

The service is led by Dr Nichola Cooper.


Conditions and treatments

Our service primarily looks after patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) a condition where the immune system attacks platelets and causes a low platelet count. We also see patients with other platelet disorders. The centre is embedded within the wider paediatric haematology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) service at St Mary's Hospital, which also specialises in the management of children with haemoglobinopathies and red cell disorders, stem cell transplantation, bone marrow failure syndromes and Level 2 Shared Care for children with malignancies.

Our children’s haematology clinics benefit from the support of a clinical nurse specialist and the paediatric haematology service as a whole, including a dedicated haematology day care unit and inpatient facilities if required. Children with other general haematological problems may also be investigated in the clinic.

Patients with ITP may require treatment with a short course of steroids or intravenous (into the vein – IV) immunoglobulin if they have significant bleeding symptoms, but these are not usually required for patients coming to routine clinic appointments.

For adolescent transition of children with ITP there is a clinic every three months in conjunction with Dr Nichola Cooper, Adult and Paediatric ITP specialist nurses, with additional multidisciplinary team input as required. Our service sees in excess of 80 children with ITP yearly.

Children who are diagnosed with disorders such as ITP may require urgent treatment for bleeding, and this is supported by our children's accident and emergency (A&E) department, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and also by access to the paediatric haematology day care and inpatient facilities, with 24-hour paediatric haematology consultant cover.

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