What is thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which there are too few platelets — the cells produced in the bone marrow that are needed for clotting.
What causes thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia may be caused by infections in the fetus or newborn such as rubella, syphilis, and bacterial or viral infections. It can also develop when a mother's immune system produces antibodies against the baby's platelets. Some medications taken by the mother or given to the baby can cause thrombocytopenia.
Why is thrombocytopenia a concern?
Without enough platelets, there may be bleeding into the tissues. Bruising of the skin often occurs. With bleeding, the red blood cells break down, producing bilirubin. This substance builds up in the blood causing jaundice. Excessive bleeding, called hemorrhage, can be dangerous and can affect the brain and other body systems.