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unexplained spots/bruising?

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Hi All,

I just talked to my Mother and she told me that my Father had some unexplained bruising or what looked like purple spots on his arm and thigh. They called the hospice nurse to come take a look at it and she didn't say much about it.

My Mother also spoke to a Chinese herbalist that they had been using and he had said that things look pretty grim right now and to expect him to start to have bloody stools and to vomit blood. And if that were to happen to go to the ER right away. The herbalist also suggested that two ppl stay with my Father at all times just in case anything should happen. Does this sound accurate for those who have been through this? Or do you think that the herbalist is a quack? The hospice nurse didn't seem too concerned.

Oh, and the herbalist suggested that my Mother not tell my Father so that he does not worry.

I just don't know anymore,


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Is your dad lying in one position for long periods of time? Are the purple spots on the surface of his body that lies against the bed? If so, these could be the beginnings of bedsores. My dad got this on his scalp at the back of his head, because he was most comfortable with his head in that position.

Don't feel he's been neglected. Bedsores can develop despite the best of care. But Hospice should be able to get some Tegaderm patches. These are applied to the skin and protect it from the pressure sores a bit.

I don't know where the herbalist gets the idea that bloody stools and vomiting will start soon. Have these been a problem recently?

Also, if he is contracted for Hospice care, he probably has agreed not to go to the ER.

He should be allowed visitors as he and your mother wish.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


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If you ar curious as to what Purpura is read on below. I think this is what John is talking about.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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ICD-10 D69

ICD-9 287

Petichial spots over the backPurpura is the appearance of red or purple discolorations on the skin, caused by bleeding underneath the skin. Small spots are called petechiae, while large spots are called ecchymoses.

This is common with typhus and can be present with meningitis caused by meningococcal meningitis or septicaemia.



Purpura is a common and unspecific symptom, however the underlying mechanism commonly involves one of the following:

Platelet disorders

Primary thrombocytopenic purpura

Secondary thrombocytopenic purpura

Vascular disorders

Microvascular injury, as seen in senile (old age) purpura, when blood vessels are more easily damaged

Hypertensive states

Deficient vascular support

Vasculitis, as in the case of Henoch-Schönlein purpura

Coagulation disorders

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

There are also cases of psychogenic purpura described in the medical literature, some due to autoerythrocyte sensitization.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purpura"

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Tony had a lot of those mystery burgandy/purple marks during chemo primarily on his arms. The Doc and nurses weren't concerned. He also developed Acanthosis nigricans which is is a rare inicator of tumors in the body. (The Doc loved doing a show & tell with his staff on that one!) None of this bothered him and some of the marks have gone and others have stayed around.

Best of luck to your Dad.


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Thanks so much for all your input. It made me feel so much better knowing that no one has experienced this with bloody stools and vomiting blood. :P My Mother was all a mess today because my Father had a nosebleed and she is convinced that the blood vessels are beginning to break in his body and he is bleeding out.

Good grief. There is always something new with this horrid diseas isn't there?



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Mom had a lot of those purple spots in the weeks before hospice. The first time one showed up she thought she had been marked by aliens. The explanation that we got was that it was bruising caused by her low platelets/bloodwork. And the bruising part proved true because as time went on, little bumps would cause them and voila--more alien mark.

Our docs weren't worried either. Has bloodwork been checked at all? Are blood transfusions an option after hospice is called in (they weren't for us.)?

As for having someone stay with your Dad... It might be a good idea just for his peace of mind and yours. I can vouch for the fact that the 'alien marks' came nearer to the end of Mom's life, but I wouldn't say that they were a hallmark in the process of dying. However... our time on hospice was very short. And I always felt better when I knew someone who loved Mom was with her.

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Hi There,

We ended up taking my Father to the ER last Monday. It was explained to us that the little purple spots were due to blood vessels that have broken underneath his skin. He also had a nose bleed that did not clot - and after 12 hours of that we took him to the ER. The hospital ran some tests and it showed that his platelets were down to 5 - he then received several transfusions but unfortunately despite the transfusions his platelets dropped to 2.

As for hospice - We had called them first on Monday in regards to the nose bleed. The nurse said that it is up to us whether or not we wanted to go to the ER and that if it was "gushing" and it "scared" us enough than we should go. It sure did seem like she was discouraging it. She used phrases like, "It could be low potassium levels - but I don't know if you want all those blood tests done and then subsequent transfusions." I now have a better understanding of hospice - but I don't understand how they expect my Father to literally bleed to death through his nose at home. I don't know - maybe it's just me.


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