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Thrombocytopenia

What is Thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia is a disorder in which the number of blood cell platelets is abnormally low, sometimes associated with abnormal bleeding.

What are platelets?

Platelets are cells in the blood. Their main function is to help blood to clot.

Platelets are essential in the formation of blood clots. If blood clots do not form, bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel will occur. Platelets are also needed to prevent leakage of red blood cells from uninjured vessels

When does Thrombocytopenia occur?

Thrombocytopenia occurs when blood cell platelets are lost from the bloodstream faster than they can be replaced. Platelets are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is located in the middle of the bone.

Thrombocytopenia may be a result from a failure of platelet production and/or an increased rate of removal from blood.

Thrombocytopenia often occurs in patients with cancers of the blood. Thrombocytopenia also occurs in patients that have disorders that cause bone marrow dysfunction.

Thrombocytopenia may occur because of a build up of platelets outside the normal bloodstream. This can occur in a patient with a very large spleen.

What are the Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia?

Some patients with thrombocytopenia may not have symptoms. When symptoms occur, some of the most common symptoms are:

  • bruising
  • nosebleeds or oral bleeding
  • a rash that looks like pinpoint red spots

Can Thrombocytopenia be Treated?

Yes. The type of treatment will depend on the cause.

Complications of Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is a serious matter. If not treated properly, complications may occur. The most common complication is internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can occur anywhere in the body.

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