Thrombocytopenia causes low platelet count in the body. Milder forms of the condition will not show any immediate symptoms. However if severe, it can cause spontaneous bleeding of the eyes, gums and bladder. It also causes prolonged bleeding from cuts, and a rash-like bruise called purpura on the legs.
Low platelet count can be caused by one of three processes: Trapped platelets (enlarged spleen due to a number of conditions), decreased platelet production (due to conditions like anaemia, Hepatitis C, HIV, chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy, heavy alcohol consumption, leukemia, and other types of cancer), and increased breakdown of platelets (due to factors like pregnancy, immune thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, bacteria in the blood, haemolytic uremic syndrome, and certain medications such as heparin, quinine, sulfa-containing antibiotics and anticonvulsants).
Thrombocytopenia is curable with treatement. Depending int he severity, doctors may suggest transfusions, medication, surgery, or plasma exchange.
Symptoms of low platelets include:
Purpura (Easy or excessive bruising)
Superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on the calves
Prolonged bleeding from cuts
Bleeding from the gums or nose
Unusually heavy menstrual flows
Blood in urine or stools
Platelet counts usually come back to normal within 2 weeks.
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