Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your child's immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and platelet disorders appointment

Before your child’s appointment

Your child is likely to have been referred to this service by your GP or by a hospital doctor who has identified an excessive level of bleeding such as following an operation or dental extraction, or following a thrombosis which may have occurred during an admission to hospital. Your child will usually be seen in clinic within two to eight weeks of the referral being received. Depending on the urgency of the situation an earlier visit will be arranged if required. 

You should attend all appointments with your child if they are under the age of 16, and you are welcome to bring another family member or a carer with you as well.

You may be contacted by one of our clinical nurse specialists to arrange blood tests prior to the appointment. Please bring a list of any medications including dosages. If it is your child’s first appointment and you have records of prior blood tests taken elsewhere it is helpful to bring them along.

During your child’s appointment

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside.

All appointments are held in Dr Cooper’s clinic in the children’s haematology day unit on the sixth floor of the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother (QEQM) building at St Mary’s Hospital. Waiting times are usually about 30 minutes, and you can expect your child’s appointment to take approximately 30 minutes. 

 At your first appointment your child will be seen by Dr Cooper or one of her colleagues who will take a detailed history of your child’s symptoms and, together with the clinical nurse specialist, coordinate the necessary investigations to establish a diagnosis as soon as possible. Investigations are likely to include blood tests on one or more occasions, and other investigations such as scans if necessary.

After your child’s appointment

Depending on the outcome of the investigations Dr Cooper will advise on further management. For example, those children diagnosed with inherited bleeding disorders will be referred to a paediatric haemophilia centre and those diagnosed with disorders such as immune thrombocytopenia will be followed up at St Mary’s or more locally if appropriate.

Patient facilities and resources

A play specialist may be available to help with blood tests if needed.