Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count)

Platelets are blood cells that produced in the bone marrow and destroyed in the spleen and liver. Platelets circulate in the bloodstream for about 10 days. Platelets are responsible for stopping the bleeding.

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which you have a lower platelets than normal (150,000 to 400,000 platelets per microliter) blood platelet count. There are many causes of thrombocytopenia, such as abnormalities of the bone marrow, as well as conditions that can reduce platelet count in the body, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

  • Bleeding in the skin that look like tiny red or purple spot on the skin (without any injury or trauma).
  • Bleeding from the gums.
  • Blood in the urine or stools.
  • Bleeding from other parts of the body.
  • Decreased production of platelets by the bone marrow.
  • Increased breakdown of platelets.
  • Autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys platelets.
Thrombocytopenia is diagnosed from a complete blood count (CBC), the number of platelets, the shapes and sizes of platelets and other symptoms that may indicate a low blood platelet count.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and do not floss.
  • Avoid dental work or surgery until you have consulted with your doctor.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects, participating in strenuous sports, and any activities with the risk of contact.
  • Avoid walking barefoot as it makes you prone to injury.
  • If you have problems with balance, always seek support when walking.
  • Avoid cutting your nails and shaving with a razor; use an electric razor instead.
  • Avoid using sharp objects, such as knives and scissors, to prevent accidents.
  • Avoid blowing your nose or sneezing too hard.
  • Avoid constipation; drink plenty of water.
** In the case that platelet count is less than 20,000 platelets per microliter
  • Bed rest is important and all activities should be done by a caregiver. The doctor may consider a platelet transfusion.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid bearing down when passing stool and coughing/sneezing too hard.
The most dangerous aspect of thrombocytopenia is bleeding from essential organs, which can lead to life-threatening complications, such as bleeding in the brain and bleeding in the digestive system.
  • Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the following:
  • Bleeding from the mouth or gums.
  • Bleeding from the nose.
  • Bleeding from the vagina.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Reddish or purplish spots in the skin without any injury or trauma,
  • Bleeding under the skin.
  • Blood in the urine or stools.
  • Persistent headache.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Less than 50,000 platelets per microliter is considered abnormal and requires close monitoring to prevent risks and complications that can occur with certain activities, such as contact sports.
  • Less than 20,000 platelets per microliter is considered very low and can lead to unprovoked, spontaneous bleeding.

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