Derek Elston, trustee of the ITP Support Association, tells PharmaTimes about his experiences of being diagnosed and living with the rare bleeding disorder
How were you diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and what were your symptoms?
I was first diagnosed in 1993 with ITP after working in the Far East for 14 months. At the end I was fairly shattered both with the intensity of the work and commuting regularly. After about four weeks, I decided to visit the doctor. He took a sample of blood.
A big thank you to friend of the ITP Support Association Neil Dudgeon, who with partner Annette Badland reached the final only to miss out on the jackpot by 1 point. Neil dedicated his £250 winnings to the ITP Support Association.
Last year many of you may recall that a group of rare disease stakeholders came together to form a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) to find out what matters to patients, carers and clinicians in the field of Bleeding Disorders. Some people experience problems with bleeding throughout their lives as the result of an inherited disorder such as haemophilia or von Willebrand disease. Others may have long-term problems due to an acquired problem such as immune thrombocytopenia and finally some people may have experienced problems only after childbirth or surgery. To this end the PSP launched a survey 12 months ago asking for people to consider which questions they think are the most important for researchers to be asking.
A new data protection law (GDPR) has now been introduced in the United Kingdom. Therefore we have published a new Privacy Notice to show how we use and protect your information. When joining or renewing your membership of the ITP Support Association online there are additional options to chose regarding how we contact you within your membership profile.
BMA Foundation for Medical Research – grant winners 2017
Three of the UK's leading ITP specialists, have received grants from the BMA Jon Moulton Award to further their research into ITP. Dr Nichola Cooper, Dr Charlotte Bradbury and Dr Quentin Hill, all three directors of ITP Clinical Centres. Details of the award can be found via this link, BMA Foundation once on the page click on the J Moulton tab.
Order the ITP Support Association's Holiday insurance and Travel Guide, which includes advice on insurance, flying, avoiding malaria, medicines and vaccinations, It also includes insurance companies recommended by our members.
If travelling to Europe get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to entitle you to free or discounted healthcare in European countries.
Discuss any required vaccinations with your doctor well in advance, bearing in mind that they are not effective within 3 months of certain drugs.
Order medication well in advance, ensuring you have enough to last the holiday. Inform your holiday insurance company about your ITP, or you may find you are not covered in the event of a claim (they may require a doctor’s letter).
Try to find out what ITP is called in the country you are going to, in case of an emergency. You may be able to obtain this from the country’s embassy.
Find out what the equivalent of 999 is in the country you are visiting.
Find out the locality of the doctor and hospital nearest to your accommodation.
Make copies of all important documents, such as passports, and leave the copies with a friend of relative. You may need the copy if your originals get stolen.
If you take prescribed medicine, take a copy of your prescription and doctor’s letter.