Meet Tanya who has Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia (GT)
Tanya is aged 49 and has Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia (GT), an inherited platelet disorder . She is married and works as a nurse.
Patients with GT have normal numbers of platelets, but their platelets do not function properly as they lack a key substance which makes platelets stick together to stop bleeding.
Tanya says “I was originally misdiagnosed with several other types of bleeding disorder and eventually found to have GT when I was aged around 20, after having been seen at St Thomas’ Hospital Haemophilia Unit in London. I have had lifelong problems with nose bleeds and heavy periods and have also had bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. I have had blood and platelet transfusions on multiple occasions and as a result have antibodies (my immune system has reacted to the transfusions) which makes giving blood and platelets in the future more difficult.”
The excessive bleeding has made me anaemic (I have a low red blood count), so I have to take iron tablets. I work part time as the anaemia makes me tired and I have had to devote lots of time to hospital appointments. I decided not to have children as I required constant medication for my heavy periods and was advised that management of GT during pregnancy was very complicated.”
“I think the work of the Platelet Charity is important as not everyone knows that women can also have bleeding disorders – they are usually aware that men get haemophilia. It is really important to correctly diagnose inherited platelet disorders as early as possible so that patients get the correct treatment and are seen by the right specialist. Sometimes it is hard to talk to other people with the same condition and the Platelet Charity will allow us to be put in touch with other patients so that we can share our experiences.”