Low Platelet Count

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thrombocytopenia is the medical term for a low blood platelet count.

It often occurs as a result of a separate disorder, such as leukemia or an immune system malfunction or as a medication side effect. Find out more about this condition from

Dr. Edward Hill in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A platelet is a cell in the blood. Platelets help your blood to clot after an injury. These clots help you stop bleeding.

Thrombocytopenia is when you dont have enough platelets for your blood to clot. This could be caused by many things, such as viruses, cancer or some medicines. If you dont have enough platelets, it could be a sign of something serious.

Most people do not know they have this condition because they dont have symptoms. However, some people may have signs and symptoms such as:

Frequent nosebleeds

Bleeding gums after brushing teeth

Long bleeding times after a minor cut or scratch, or

Easy bruising

Thrombocytopenia can be diagnosed from a blood test. Your doctor will decide if you need more tests based on your test results, symptoms, age and medical history. It is often treated by watching and waiting, or treating the main cause of the symptoms.

Most people will not need a blood transfusion unless they are bleeding and are very sick with a very low platelet count.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.