Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: Low | blood | platelets | thrombocytopenia

Help for Low Blood Platelets

Monday, 02 April 2012 09:49 AM

Question: I have a low blood platelet count. What can I do to raise it? Am I stuck with this problem for life?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Platelets are one of the components of the blood along with white and red blood cells. Platelets play an important role in clotting and bleeding. Platelets, in general, have a brief 7 to 10 days life in the blood, after which they are removed from the blood circulation. A count between 150,000 to 450,000 per micro liter (one millionth of a liter) of blood is considered normal. Platelet counts less than 150,000 are termed thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia often occurs as a result of a separate disorder, such as leukemia or an immune system malfunction, or as a medication side effect. Thrombocytopenia may be mild and cause few signs or symptoms. In rare cases, the number of platelets may be so low that dangerous internal bleeding can occur. So, the treatment of thrombocytopenia is largely dependent upon the cause and the severity of the condition. Many cases of mild thrombocytopenia may not require treatment. The condition may resolve on its own. In case of severe bleeding, your doctor can replace lost blood with transfusions of packed red blood cells or platelets. In idiopathic thrombocytopenia, corticosteroids do help, and if they don’t, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your spleen (splenectomy) or stronger medications to suppress your immune system. Try to avoid contact sports with high risk for injuries, and avoid over-the-counter pain medications that can affect your platelet function, including aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

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Low blood platelets is thrombocytopenia.
Monday, 02 April 2012 09:49 AM
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