Low Platelet Count (Bleeding)
Platelets are blood cells called thrombocytes and help your blood clot, so you stop bleeding. Low platelet count is also called thrombocytopenia. When your platelet levels are lower than normal, your blood isn’t able to clot as it should, putting you at a higher risk for excessive bleeding. Nov 16, · A low platelet count is a blood disorder that can sometimes be serious. This article looks at platelets and their role within the body. Find out about the many possible causes of a low count Author: Markus Macgill.
Platelets are blood cells called thrombocytes and help your blood clot, so you stop bleeding. Low platelet count is also called thrombocytopenia. The lower your platelet count, the higher your risk for bleeding.
Your doctor will tell you what level is pltaelets a low platelet count. If you have a very low platelet count, sometimes your doctor will delay your treatment or reduce your dose. Your doctor will use a blood test called a complete loa count CBC to measure your platelet level. Your platelet count may be low if the body is not making enough platelets, losing platelets, or platelets are being destroyed. In patients with cancer, low platelet count may be caused by:. A platelet transfusion might be needed in zre patients with cancer happene have a low platelet count.
Platelets may be given to prevent bleeding when the platelet count is very low, or they may be given if a patient has some unusual bleeding to help stop it. Before platelets are given, the donor is carefully matched to the patient and the platelets are happfns so they are safe. But, receiving a platelet transfusion has some risks:. Talk to your doctor about whether you have a risk for a low platelet count, and what options might be best for your situation.
Your doctor will use a blood test called a complete blood count CBC to measure your platelet level How to change startup image of low platelet count Your platelet count may be low if the body is not making enough platelets, losing platelets, or platelets are being destroyed.
Platelet transfusion in patients with low platelet counts A platelet transfusion might be needed in some patients with whqt who have a low platelet count. This often looks like an allergic reaction. Most of these reactions are minor and can be treated, but sometimes they can be more serious Transfusion-related lung injury is one of the more serious risks. It can cause trouble breathing and require treatment in the hospital.
What a patient with a low platelet count can do Use only an electric razor not blade for shaving. Avoid contact sports such as wrestling, boxing, or football and any other activities that might lead to injury or happwns a fall.
Protect your skin from cuts, scrapes, and sharp objects. Use a soft happes. If your mouth is bleeding, rinse it a few times with ice water. Talk to your cancer care team about whether you should put off flossing your teeth until your platelet counts improve. Do not blow your nose or cough with great force. Use a stool softener to avoid constipation and straining during a plaelets movement. Do not use enemas or suppositories of any kind.
Check with your cancer care team before using laxatives. Do not put anything in your rectum, including suppositories, enemas, thermometers, etc. If bleeding starts, stay calm. Sit or lie down and platelrts help. Call your cancer care team or get immediate medical help if you have unusual bleeding or if bleeding of hwppens kind does not stop. What caregivers can do Keep the home environment safe to help prevent injury and falls. For nosebleeds, have the patient sit up with head tilted forward, to keep blood from dripping down the back of the throat.
Put ice on the nose and pinch the nostrils shut for how to insert picture in database minutes before releasing them. Ice on the back of the neck may also help. For bleeding from other areas, press on the bleeding area qhat a clean, dry washcloth or paper towel until bleeding stops.
What causes low platelet count?
When your platelet count gets too low, it can cause dangerous internal bleeding. Thrombocytopenia can be an inherited condition, or it can be caused by medications or other medical conditions. The platelet count in your bloodstream is reduced by one or more of the following main processes: Decreased production of platelets.
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Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Platelets are small cells circulating in your bloodstream that affix themselves to the wall of a blood vessel following injury.
They are specifically designed for clotting; they clump together to prevent bleeding. If you have low platelets in your blood, known as thrombocytopenia , your ability to form clots and stop bleeding may be impaired. It's important that you're aware of how your condition affects your overall health and what you can do to stay well. Your platelets are analyzed during a complete blood count CBC test , which is a standard panel of bloodwork. Platelet count is one of the measures the CBC delivers.
Thrombocytopenia may be hereditary or caused by several circumstances that result in your blood platelet count falling below normal levels. Thrombocytopenia can also result when your body simply isn't making an adequate number of platelets.
Several conditions may result in an enlarged spleen , which is responsible for storing up to one-third of the body's platelets at any time under normal conditions. An enlarged spleen may trap a larger number of platelets, not allowing them to escape into circulation. If you have a low platelet count, you may experience a variety of symptoms.
It is important to call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:. There are several steps you can follow to avoid complications from low platelets; specifically working to minimize the risk of bleeding wherever possible. Bleeding can become a very serious concern in someone with a low platelet count.
If you begin bleeding, follow these steps and contact your care provider:. A low blood platelet count will often return to a normal level if the cause can be clearly identified and treated.
This allows your bone marrow to recover normal function, such as post-pregnancy or post-cancer treatment, though the timeline will differ for everyone. However, in some cases, a platelet transfusion may be warranted to prevent complications from bleeding. If this is required, you can expect to receive the platelets through an infusion into your vein. If an autoimmune condition is causing your thrombocytopenia, you may be prescribed an immune-suppressant medication to help cease platelet destruction.
If a reaction to another medication is causing your thrombocytopenia, you may be placed on a different medication by your prescribing physician. Low platelets, or thrombocytopenia, are a common side effect of blood cancers and their treatment, but may also be a result of autoimmune diseases, pregnancy, heavy alcohol consumption or certain medications. As a result of thrombocytopenia, you may experience frequent or excessive bleeding. It is important to do your best to avoid injury to prevent complications from occurring.
Limiting processed foods and red meats can help ward off cancer risk. These recipes focus on antioxidant-rich foods to better protect you and your loved ones. Sign up and get your guide! Jinna S, Khandhar PB. In: StatPearls. Updated November 25, Nagalla S, Sarode R. Recent advances in understanding and management of acquired thrombocytopenia. Moses S. Family Practice Notebook.
Thrombocytopenia Causes. Updated August Smock J, Perkins S. Thrombocytopenia: an update. Int J Lab Hematol. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Low platelet count. January Izak M, Bussel J. Management of thrombocytopenia. FPrime Rep. Thrombocytopenia: Symptoms and Causes.
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Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents. What's Normal? Managing Low Platelets. What to Do If Bleeding Starts. A normal platelet count is considered between , and , platelets per microliter of blood. A low platelet count is considered anywhere below , platelets per microliter. Mild bleeding risk occurs with 50, platelets per microliter and below. Serious bleeding risk occurs if platelet count drops to 10, to 20, platelets per microliter or lower.
What Is Immune Thrombocytopenia? It is important to call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following symptoms: Headache, confusion, or dizziness Blood when you cough or difficulty breathing Blood in your urine, vomit, or bowel movements Vaginal bleeding after menopause or unusually heavy vaginal bleeding.
An Overview of Platelet Disorders. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Aster RH. Drug-induced Thrombocytopenia. Platelets Jan 1 pp. Academic Press. Related Articles. Causes of Purpura: Purple Spots on Skin. Overview of Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia in Newborns. Understanding Congenital Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia. What Are Blood Dyscrasias?