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Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in the Delaware Valley and Florida

Locations & Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia



Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location

New Jersey


Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Voorhees

443 Laurel Oak Road
Therapy Services (Suite 200)
Pediatric Specialty Services (Suite 230)
Voorhees, NJ 08043
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Fourth Friday each month; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location



Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia

833 Chestnut St. E., Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location


Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Lancaster

2128 Embassy Drive, Suite A
Lancaster, PA 17603
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For Appointments: (800) 416-4441

Hours: Hours vary; please call
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location



Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location

Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Orlando

1717 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location

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Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Melbourne

1270 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location

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Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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For Appointments: (904) 697-3789

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location


Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Pensacola

5153 N. Ninth Ave.
Pensacola, FL 32504
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For Appointments: (850) 505-4790

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time)
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Doctors Who Treat Thrombocytopenia at This Location

About Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is the medical term for too few platelets circulating in the bloodstream. Platelets are formed in the bone marrow (the red spongy material in the bones) along with red blood cells (which carry oxygen) and white blood cells (which fight infection). Platelets are responsible for forming healthy blood clots where there’s injury to the blood vessel (“plugging” the injury to stop bleeding). When platelets are low, abnormally excessive bleeding can result. 

The causes of pediatric thrombocytopenia fall into three categories:
  • increased platelet destruction (immunologic and non-immunologic causes)
  • reduced platelet production
  • platelet disappearance

Thrombocytopenia can affect children of all ages, from newborns to teens and young adults.

Our renowned hematologists, oncologists and researchers at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders work together with other top specialists to care for children with immune thrombocytopenia, from mild to the most severe disorders. 

Types of Thrombocytopenia We Treat

Thrombocytopenia Caused by Increased Platelet Destruction

When platelets are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can replace them, thrombocytopenia can result. The causes can be “immunologic” (due to problems with the immune system) or “non-immunologic” (due to infections, blood vessel problems or rare conditions).

Common causes of nonimmunologic thrombocytopenia include severe infections, blood vessel irregularities and rare disorders called “disseminated intravascular coagulation” (DIC), “thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura” (TTP) or “hemolytic uremic syndrome” (HUS).

The most common type of immunologic thrombocytopenia is called “idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura” (ITP).

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)

Each year, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, or ITP (also called “autoimmune thrombocytopenia purpura”), affects approximately 8 children in 100,000 under 15 years old in the United States.

The disorder is characterized by healthy platelet production, but the spleen (responsible for filtering infections) destroys them too quickly. In most cases, the cause for ITP is unknown, or “idiopathic.”

Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura is most often acute (commonly found in young children occurring after an infection), lasting six months or less. It also can be chronic, lasting over six months to several years.

Thrombocytopenia Caused by Reduced Platelet Production

Problems with platelet production arise in the bone marrow, and can come from abnormal cell growth (called “blasts”) that multiply and crowd out normal cells, for example with cancers (such as leukemia and lymphoma) and “storage” disorders in which enzyme dysfunction causes abnormal cell growth.

Platelet production can be slowed or reduced for other reasons, including:
  • bone marrow structural problems
  • bone marrow failure syndromes
  • viral infections (rubella, mumps)
  • certain medications (chemotherapy, anticonvulsants, antibiotics)
  • diet and nutrition
  • organ failure (kidney or liver)
Thrombocytopenia Caused by Platelet Disappearance

Thrombocytopenia can be caused by the disappearance of platelets in circulation, caused by either:

  • an enlarged spleen (when platelets are pooled by the spleen)
  • red blood cell transfusion (in which case the platelets are “diluted” by red blood cells that don’t contain platelets)
Evans Syndrome

Evans syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy blood cells. It’s a rare condition that results when autoimmune idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, autoimmune hemolytic anemia and (sometimes) autoimmune neutropenia occur in combination simultaneously (at the same time) or sequentially (in succession). Evans syndrome is a chronic (long-term) disease that presents with periods of remission and relapse. There is no known genetic cause of Evans syndrome and it’s rarely inherited.

Diagnosing Thrombocytopenia in Children

Signs & Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia in children vary widely depending on the disorder, but can include:

  • bleeding/dots under the skin (petechiae)
  • purpura (larger dark spots under the skin)
  • bruising easily
  • bleeding gums
  • difficulty stopping bleeding (minor wounds, nosebleeds) 

Testing & Evaluations

If your child possibly has thrombocytopenia (including idiopathic thrombocytopenia), Nemours’ experienced blood disorder care team works together to quickly and appropriately diagnose the disease through a variety of tests and procedures, including:

  • thorough physical examination and medical history
  • blood tests
  • urine tests
  • bone marrow aspiration and biopsy

Treating & Caring for Children With Thrombocytopenia

Your Child's Comprehensive Pediatric Hematology Care Team

If we discover thrombocytopenia, our multidisciplinary (collaborative) team plans the most effective treatment personalized to your child’s needs and related health conditions. In addition to an experienced, compassionate nurse coordinator (who provides your child and family support, education and care coordination), Nemours’ pediatric blood disorder and cancer care teams include:

  • hematologists (blood disorder specialists)
  • oncologists (cancer doctors)
  • immunologists (autoimmune disorder specialists)
  • pathologists (diagnose diseases by examining body tissues, fluids and organs)
  • geneticists (perform genetic counseling and testing)
    interventional radiologists (perform image-guided minimally invasive procedures)
  • behavioral health specialists (psychologists and psychiatrists)
  • registered dietitians (nutrition specialists)
  • hematology nurses (registered nurses specializing in blood disorders in children) 

Your care team is here to provide your family with ongoing support and follow-up. We always include you in the entire process, because we truly believe in the healing power of families, and that you know your child best.

Learn More About Nemours’ Pediatric Hematology Care Teams in Your Area »

Innovative Childhood Thrombocytopenia Treatment at Nemours

Treating thrombocytopenia in children depends on what causes the condition, the severity, your child’s age and overall health, and can include one or more of the following:

  • chemotherapy (cancer-killing medications)
  • antibiotics (for infections that cause the condition)
  • blood transfusion (adding platelets intravenously — through the veins)
  • immunotherapy (stimulating the immune system to destroy or reject tumors)
  • immunosuppressive therapy (to keep the immune system from attacking healthy cells) 
  • intravenous immunoglobulin (also called “IVIG,” to build up/strengthen the immune system)
  • steroid therapy (cortisone to help prevent bleeding)
  • hormone therapy (to improve blood counts or prevent bleeding)
  • targeted drug therapies (to target genetic abnormalities)
  • blood and bone marrow transplant (also called a “BBMT,” “BMT” or “stem cell transplant”)
  • surgery (to remove the spleen)

For your child’s overall health and wellness, we also prescribe physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management services, palliative care (to manage physical symptoms resulting from the disease or surgery) and integrative medicine (massage, aqua therapy, biofeedback, yoga, meditation and more). 

Learn More About Pediatric Hematology Treatment at Nemours »

Additional Resources & Support for Families

Nemours Support Services

Dealing with a complex medical condition like a blood disorder is difficult for your child and family. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Nemours provides an array of support services that begin on the very first day we meet, and continues throughout your journey because at Nemours, your child and family become part of our own.

Our services include: 
  • patient and family education
  • social work
  • mental health counseling
  • Child Life services
  • creative therapy
  • support groups
Informative Articles & Videos for Parents From Nemours’ KidsHealth
Trusted National Resources for Thrombocytopenia

American Society of Clinical Oncology — Thrombocytopenia: The site provides a wealth of information and support resources for children and teens with cancer.  

General Blood Disorder Information & Education

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: The institute is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and promotes the research, prevention and treatment of heart, lung and blood diseases.

National Institutes of Health: The institute provides a vast amount of information on diseases, treatments and research, including the informative site, Medline Plus.

Platelet Disorder Support Association: The Platelet Disorder Support Association is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with platelet disorders through education, advocacy, research and support. 

Blood & Bone Marrow Resources

Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network: BMTinfonet.org provides information and support for patients and families before, during and after transplant.

The Bone Marrow Foundation: This organization offers information on financial assistance and resources to bone marrow/stem cell transplant patients and their families.

Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR): The center disseminates information on blood and bone marrow transplant research.

National Marrow Donor Program: The site contains information about bone marrow and cord blood donation and transplantation.

National Bone Marrow Transplant Link: This organization helps patients, caregivers and families cope with the social and emotional challenges of bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, from diagnosis through survivorship. They provide information and personalized support services.

Appointments & Referrals

Delaware, Pennsylvania & New Jersey

(800) 416-4441

Jacksonville Area

(904) 697-3789

Orlando Area

(407) 650-7715

Pensacola Area

(850) 505-4790

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+1 (302) 651-4993

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