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Doctor Harrison
Doctor Harrison, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 301
Experience:  Board Certified Internal Medicine, Former Chief Resident, Yale New Haven Health
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My aunt has been in ICU for 2 weeks. She has a platlet count

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My aunt has been in ICU for 2 weeks. She has a platlet count of 5,000. The doctor thought that she had ttp. after several treatments a plasma thoresis platlet count did not rise. They did a bonemarrow tests. The results are back and they are inconclusive. They are now consulting a second Hemotoligist. She claims that she feels good. She looks good. She does however appear to be fatiqued. She is 82 years old. She was complaining of leg pain for weeks prior to falling and then ending up in the hospital. She does have a hx. of colon an thyroid ca. I questioned if her ca had metastised, but the tests have proven otherwise. The doctors are puzzeled what to do next. I spoke with the MD today. They said hat they could give her a transfusion, but it may do more harm than good. My aunt lives in Trenton,NJ. I live in Pittssurgh.I just returned to pittsburgh. I would just like to know what could possibly be wrong. She has been in ICU since Dec.20th. I am her closet relative. I just do not know wh
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Doctor Harrison replied 7 years ago.


Sorry to hear about your aunt. TTP is when your platelets (which stop bleeding) get attacked by your body. This can happen with cancers, and she may have a recurrence of colon or thyroid cancer.


However, some medications can mimic TTP, as they interact with the body to cause a quick reduction in platelets. You should ask the hematologist if your aunt has had any exposure to Heparin or lovenox. If so (and it is likely in the ICU, especially in the IV's), these should all be stopped as they can cause HIT (heparin induced thrombocytopenia).

Be sure that this is addressed.


If it is confirmed that she has TTP and not HIT, they should look for recurrence of cancer. In the meantime, it is true that a platelet transfusion will likely just add "fuel to the fire" and is not a great idea.


Steroids are controversial in this condition, but ask the hematologist about their possible role in this situation.


Good luck to you and your Aunt.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
They have roled out TTP after her blood count did not rise after Several treatment of plasma thoresis.The doctor said the a reoccurance of CA is not high on their list. Could she possibly have a dvt. The is some swelling in her left leg