Platelet E-News: May 29, 2013

This e-newsletter is a monthly publication of the Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a healthcare professional.

ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine


ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

Blood Clots and Sepsis Linked to Splenectomy

People with ITP who had a splenectomy were about three times more likely to develop a blood clot in their veins, almost twice as likely to develop a blood clot in their abdomen soon after surgery, and had a slightly higher risk of developing sepsis, a severe blood infection. To reach these conclusions researchers examined the medical records of 1,762 splenectomized patients with ITP and compared them to 8214 people with ITP who did not have the surgery.

Boyle S et al. “Splenectomy and the incidence of venous thromboembolism and sepsis in patients with immune thrombocytopenia.” Blood. 2013 May 1.


Telling the Difference between ITPand Child Abuse

boyParents with children diagnosed with ITP know those bruises are not the result of some angry assault, just low platelets. However, others have a more nuanced task since there are many bleeding disorders that can result in a bruised child and people who are not familiar with these causes can jump to the wrong conclusion. To address this situation the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics published a clinical report and journal article that reminds those who suspect child abuse to look for bleeding disorders and provides a step-by-step guide to accomplish the task. These resources can also come in handy for parents of children with bleeding disorders. The clinical report and journal article are available to all at no cost.

Anderst JD et al. “Clinical Report:Evaluation of Bleeding Disorders in Suspected Child Abuse.” Pediatrics. 2013 April 131(4):e1314-22.

Carpenter SL et al. “Evaluating for Suspected Child Abuse: Conditions That Predispose to Bleeding.” Pediatrics. 2013 April 131(4):1357-1373.


Treating H. pylori Improves Outcomes in Children

H. pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach, has been associated with many diseases, including ITP. Researchers in China found that children with ITP had twice the rate of H. pylori infection than those without the disease. They divided the children with ITP and H.pylori into two groups and assigned them to two treatment protocols: steroids and steroids plus antibiotics. The children treated with antibiotics to eradicate the H.pylori had a better response to the treatments and were less apt to relapse. This confirms earlier research and indicates the potential benefit of identifying and eradicating H.pylori in children with ITP.

Tang Y et al. [Clinical significance of helicobacter pylori in children with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura].Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2013 Mar 21(2):419-21.

Russo G et al, “Effect of eradication of Helicobacter pylori in children with chronic immune thrombocytopenia: a prospective, controlled, multicenter study.” Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Feb;56(2):273-8.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Nplate

ITP experts from London have done all of us a favor by creating a single journal article that explains why a treatment that stimulates platelet production is successful in raising the platelet count of people with ITP. The article describes romiplostim (Nplate®), how it works, why it works, and how successful it has been in clinical trials, along with the usual side effects and its effect on the quality of life of patients. The entire journal article is available FREE.

Cooper N et al. “The efficacy and safety of romiplostim in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia.” Ther Adv Hematol. 2012 October; 3(5): 291–298.


Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

Same Treatment: Huge Variations in US Hospital Costs

hospitalThe costs to treat a condition in one hospital can be as much as 50 times greater than treating the same condition in another hospital, according to data gathered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS assembled and analyzed detailed charges for the most common discharge codes from more than 3,000 hospitals. The detail data is available to the public. To see the costs for hospitals near you, download the data to a spreadsheet ( or select and sort the data online ( This is just the beginning. The US government and other organizations are funding more ways to make medical costs transparent and available to everyone.

“Report outlines ‘vast variations’ in hospital costs.” Hem/Onc Today. May 9, 2013.


Get Involved with the FDA

For several years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased their outreach to consumers through meetings and newsletters. They recently completed the most ambitious part of their public communication efforts: the FDA Patient Network website ( This comprehensive source gives everyone easy access to information about the regulatory process, diseases, clinical trials, medications, treatment options, and more.

“FDA Wants YOU (to Get Involved).” FDA Consumer Updates. April 23, 2013.


General Health and Medicine

Listeria Can Kill – Keep it Out of Your Kitchen

People with compromised immune systems (for example, those without a spleen or taking immune-suppressing drugs like prednisone) are at a greater risk of becoming very sick when exposed to listeria, a bacteria found in some food. Listeria is most prevalent in deli meats, hot dogs, smoked seafood, and store-prepared deli salads. But that is not an inclusive list since a few years ago it was found in cantaloupes. To prevent illness caused by listeria (listeriosis) keep refrigerated foods cold, clean your refrigerator regularly, and clean hands and kitchen surfaces often. The FDA web site has details and more tips on avoiding listeriosis.

“Keep Listeria Out of the Kitchen.” FDA Consumer Updates. May 10, 2013.


Shopper’s Guide to Reducing Pesticides in Produce

pesticideNot everyone has access to or can afford to buy only organic produce, so the folks at the Environmental Working Group have done us all a favor by measuring the amount of pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables. They separated their findings into the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue and those with the least. This helps us understand the food items that are most important to buy organic and the items that are less risky, from a pesticide residue viewpoint. See EWG's 2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

“Apples Top EWG's Dirty Dozen.” Environmental Working Group Press Release. April 22, 2013.

Note: Pesticides have been linked to increased destruction of platelets in the spleen. For this reference and more information on the effects of environmental compounds on platelets see the ‘Warnings’ page:


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