Author:  Maria Yiallouros, Gesche Tallen, MD, PhD, English Translation:  Hannah McRae, Last modification: 2020/05/14

The temporary lack of platelets (thrombocytopenia) is a result of intensive chemotherapy. It is associated with the risk of spontaneous bleeding (hemorrhage). Therefore:

  • Be sure to keep your child as safe as possible from the possibility of injury. Injuries while playing sports or through rough play can be dangerous.
  • Look out for bruising and small red spots under the skin that do not disappear when you press on them (petechiae). These can be signs of thrombocytopenia.
  • Take the following steps if your child has a nosebleed: Calm the child down and make sure that he or she is in a comfortable position, place an ice pack or cold washcloth on the back of the neck, pinch the end of the nose with the thumb and forefinger and hold with gentle, constant pressure (for approximately 10 minutes). If the nosebleed continues after ten minutes, make sure to contact your caregiver team.
  • Contact the caregiver team in case of blood in the stool, urine, or vomit.
  • Avoid medications that inhibit blood clotting, such as drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid or ibuprofen.
  • In any case of fever or pain after chemotherapy: contact the treatment centre and only apply medications that have been recommended to you/your child by the responsible physicians.