Thrombocytopenia Information for You
Platelets (Plts) aid our bodies in blood clotting and prevent bleeding. Thrombocytopenia is when the platelet count is below 100,000. Normal platelet count is 160,000 - 370,000.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may not appear unless the platelet count is very low (i.e. less than 10,000 - 20,000).
- Bleeding, oozing gums
- Petechiae (little red spots under the skin - like freckles)
- Black tarry stools
- Blood in urine (cloudy to pink to red)
- Nose Bleeds
What to Do
- Use a soft toothbrush.
- Do not use dental floss.
- Avoid using a blade when shaving.
- Avoid using force when blowing your nose.
- Use saline nasal spray to keep nose moist.
- Avoid constipation. Use stool softeners, eat a high fiber diet, and drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid aspirin, or products that may contain it.
- Avoid non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, i.e., ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, naproxen.
- Use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for minor pain.
- Avoid activities that carry risk of injury (i.e. contact sports).
- Apply pressure to blood drawing sites for 5 minutes after blood is drawn.
- Consult with your doctor or nurse on the safety of sexual activity as it relates to your blood counts.
- Use a water-soluble lubricant during sexual intercourse (K-Y Jelly®) to help reduce trauma to the tissues.
Platelet (blood) transfusions are often given if symptoms occur and/or platelet count is less than 10,000 - 20,000.
Please feel free to call Dr._________________ ______. a.m. to _____p.m.
at_________________________________or you can reach the clinic nurses at ____________________ from______a.m. to______p.m. if you have questions or concerns.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/16/2011
Copyright © 06/16/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4493
Print Health Fact For You