What is Thrombocytopenia

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 24, 2011

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Quick Bites

  • Thrombocytopenia happens when you have less blood platelets.
  • They make your blood to clot in order to stop bleeding.
  • Thrombocytopenia may not be dangerous for most people.
  • Severe form of it can make you to bleed too much.

When you don’t have enough platelets in your blood, you are suffering from thrombocytopenia. Platelets are essential because they make your blood to clot in order to stop bleeding. Thrombocytopenia may not be dangerous for most people but a severe form of it can make you to bleed too much when you’re injured.

The average platelet count of a healthy person is between 150, 000 to 400, 000 and with thrombocytopenia, your platelet count falls below 150, 000. The long name of this problem can be broken down: “thrombocytes” mean your platelets and “penia” refers to not having enough of something. Putting these two terms together gives you the word thrombocytopenia.

What is Thrombocytopenia

You suffer thrombocytopenia when your body doesn’t make enough platelets or the platelets that you have are trapped in the spleen, or may have been destroyed. The condition can be hereditary and may run in families. But that’s not the sole cause for it. You may get it from many medical conditions and some drugs.

Thrombocytopenia mostly doesn’t show any symptoms, especially if its form is mild. Routine blood tests done for other purposes may incidentally detect it. A severe form of thrombocytopenia, e.g. less than 20 per micro litre can cause increased bruising or bleeding when you get injured, or an increased bleeding during the menstrual period.

If thrombocytopenia is detected on a routine blood work, it is generally addressed and investigated by the physician who orders the test. In people with known thrombocytopenia, follow-up care is decided based on the diagnosis and the severity.

Image Courtesy: Getty

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