Thrombocytopenia is a low number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are the cells that help blood clot. If you don't have enough of them, your blood cannot clot well. So it is harder to stop bleeding.
You may have low platelets because your bone marrow does not make them. Or your body's defences (immune system) may destroy them.
Having an enlarged spleen can also reduce the number of platelets in your blood. This is because platelets can get trapped in the enlarged spleen.
Some diseases or medicines may also cause low platelets. But platelets may return to normal levels if the disease is treated or the medicine is stopped.
You may not need treatment if your condition is mild. If you do need treatment, you may have platelets added to your blood. Or you may get medicine to stop the loss of platelets or help your body make them.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 13, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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