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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Thrombocytopenia
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Thrombocytopenia (say "throm-buh-sy-tuh-PEE-nee-uh") is a low number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are the cells that help blood clot. If you don't have enough of them, your blood can't clot well. That means it's harder to stop bleeding.
You may have low platelets because your bone marrow doesn't make them. Or your body's defenses (immune system) may destroy them.
Having an enlarged spleen can also reduce the number of platelets in your blood. This is because they can get trapped in the enlarged spleen.
Some diseases or medicines may also cause low platelets. But platelets may go back to normal levels if you treat the disease or stop using the medicine.
Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:
Treatment for low platelets starts with finding a cause that can be stopped. For example, your doctor may change a drug you take or treat an infection you have.
Treatment may include:
You may not need treatment if your problem is mild.
Current as of:
September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineBrian Leber MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Brian Leber MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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