Thrombocytopenia means there are less platelets in the blood than what is considered normal.
What is thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia means there are less platelets in the blood than what is considered normal. Platelets are a type of blood cell involved in clotting and the other name for platelets is thrombocytes. Platelets play a big role in blood clot formation and the stopping of bleeding.
Platelets are made in the bone marrow and they have a lifespan of 8-12 days and are then removed by the spleen.
Signs and symptoms of low platelets
- Bleeding longer after minor cuts or scrapes
- Bleeding gums after brushing teeth
- Bruising more than normal
- Heavy periods in women
- Blood in vomit, urine, or bowel motions
- Small, red, or purple spots on your skin
Treatment and management
- Change to medications. Stop taking medications that affect clotting. This includes medications such aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
- Platelet transfusion
- Be careful when using sharp instruments
- Wear well-fitting shoes indoors and outdoors to avoid injury to the feet
- Avoid high impact activities
- Wear gloves if gardening
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush
- Avoid flossing teeth
- Blow the nose very gently
- Avoid food that might make the mouth bleed
- Avoid activities that increase the risk of bleeding such as contact sports and amusement park rides.