A 19-year-old’s rash turned out to be a potentially fatal blood disease

  • A woman who noticed a strange rash all over her body had a blood disorder that can cause brain hemorrhages.
  • Juliana Pascarella has ITP, characterized by low levels of the cells that clot to stop the bleeding.
  • When she arrived at the hospital, the doctors said she was “lucky” not to have internal bleeding.

A woman who “accidentally” developed a strange rash all over her body within minutes was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that, if left untreated, can cause a life-threatening brain haemorrhage.

Juliana Pascarella, 21, of Virginia, was diagnosed when she was 19 years old with a condition called immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), which is characterized by low levels of platelets, the cells that form clots to stop bleeding. Low platelets can lead to: easy bruising, bleeding gums and internal bleeding, including around the brain, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

ITP occurs when the body’s immune system destroys platelets, but we don’t know why it happens. Often, as is the case with Pascarella, no cause is found, but certain medications, pregnancy, viral infections, or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause it.

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, about three in 100,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year.

Pascarella said she wants to help others understand a condition she “once knew nothing about,” according to the Daily Express.

Doctors said she was ‘lucky’ not to have internal bleeding

Pascarella said in a TikTok video that “on any given night,” over the course of about 15 minutes, “dots popped up” on her body and legs, a scab formed over her lower lip, and her nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. Within an hour, those dots had turned into bruises.

According to the Daily Express, she initially thought the rash was harmless.

She went to the hospital and blood tests showed she had a platelet count of 3,000. In comparison, a normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 450,000 and ITP is diagnosed when it falls below 100,000.

Symptoms of ITP may include petechiae (small, flat red or purple spots under the skin), purpura (red, purple or brownish-yellow spots), a clot of clotted blood under the skin, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in pee or poop, severe menstrual bleeding and extreme tiredness.

Pascarella said on TikTok that she found out that the dots on her legs were petechiae. She had also recently been feeling tired and nauseous, according to The Daily Express.

According to Pascarella, doctors told her she was “lucky” that she had no internal bleeding, and that if she hadn’t gone to hospital, there was “a high probability” that she “couldn’t be saved,” according to the Daily Mail. Express reported it citing

Doctors treated her with a platelet transfusion, which she said was painful

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, treatment for ITP depends on several factors, including age, how severe the disease is, and other medical conditions, but may include steroids or antibodies that slow the destruction of platelets, a platelet transfusion, and medications that boost the immune system. .

Doctors treated Pascarella with three seven-hour platelet transfusions.

“Completely replacing my own blood with someone else’s was something I couldn’t wrap my head around, and the process was constantly nauseous and painful,” she said, according to the Daily Express.

Pascarella said in another TikTok video that doctors discharged her after the transfusions, and after a few months of rest she was “OK”, and blood tests every three months to check her platelets.

“I’m generally fine, except for the constant fear that just because I feel tired or sick one day, I could be at risk for another episode,” she told the Daily Express.

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