Some children with leukemia are critically ill when they are first diagnosed with leukemia. For example:
- A shortage of normal white blood cells might lead to very serious infections.
- Low levels of platelets or clotting factors in the blood can cause severe bleeding.
- Not having enough red blood cells can lower the amount of oxygen getting to body tissues and put a tremendous strain on the heart.
These problems must often be addressed before treatment of the leukemia can begin. Antibiotics, blood growth factors, and transfusions of platelets and red blood cells may be given to treat or help prevent some of these conditions.
Last Revised: 02/03/2016