Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) definition and facts
- What is thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)?
- What are the symptoms of thrombocytopenia?
- What causes thrombocytopenia?
- Decreased platelet production
- Increased platelet destruction or consumption
- Splenic sequestration
- When should I seek medical care for thrombocytopenia?
- Which specialties of doctors treat thrombycytopenia (low platelet count)?
- How is thrombocytopenia diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)?
- What are the complications of thrombocytopenia?
- Can thrombocytopenia be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a person with thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)?
- Find a local Hematologist in your town
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) definition and facts
- Thrombocytopenia or low platelet count is a lower than normal number of platelets (less than 150,000 platelets per microliter) in the blood.
- Thrombocytopenia may be inherited or acquired when conditions occur, such as the use of certain drugs.
- Causes of thrombocytopenia can be classified in three groups:
- Thrombocytopenic symptoms may
- Petechiae (superficial tiny areas of bleeding into the skin resulting in small reddish spots)
- Purpura (easy or excessive bruising)
- Prolonged bleeding cuts
- Spontaneous bleeding from the gums or nose
- Heavy menstrual bleeding that's unusual for the female
- Blood in the urine or stools
- Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
- Bleeding that will not stop
- DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
- Individuals should seek medical care if they have one or more these symptoms.
- Doctors that may be consulted for thrombocytopenia include emergency medicine, internal medicine, hematologists, and immunologists.
- Diagnosis of thrombocytopenia is confirmed by blood tests that determine platelet count.
- Treatment of thrombocytopenia varies depending on the cause and the severity of the condition.
- Complications of thrombocytopenia can be severe (organ damage and death).
- Depending upon the cause, thrombocytopenia may be prevented. However, many causes may not be preventable.
- If treated early and effectively, the prognosis for thrombocytopenia is usually good. However, if diagnosed later in the disease process, or if HIT is the cause, the prognosis decreases.
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