- reduced platelet count -
First of all . . what are platelets?
Platelets: tiny cells
that circulate in the
blood and whose
function is to take part
in the clotting
Average lifespan of a
platelet in the blood is
What is Thrombocytopenia?
Definition: an abnormal hematological condition
in which the number of platelets is reduced to
fewer than 150,000/mm³.
this deficiency alters the process of
normal platelet count range is 150,000 –
What can cause Thrombocytopenia?
Decreased production of platelets.
Decreased platelet survival.
Increased platelet destruction.
Let’s take a look at Thrombocytopenia
purpura . .
cause of increased
May be immune or
purpura (ITP) –
• In ITP platelets are coated
• Spleen doesn’t recognize
them and macrophages
thrombocytopenic purpura –
• To determine the strength of
clinical evidence for
individual drugs as a cause
of thrombocytopenia. .
• Patients platelet count will
return to normal 1 – 2 weeks
after medication is
• Capillary hemorrhage
Platelet levels & risks.
The severity of signs and symptoms are
related specifically to the platelet count.
If platelet level drops below 100,000/mm³, the
risk for bleeding from mucous membranes, in
cutaneous sites and internal organs increases.
If platelet level drops below 5000/mm³,
spontaneous, potentially fatal CNS or GI
hemorrhage can occur.
Assessment time . .
about recent viral
Medications in current
Extent of alcohol
Observe patient for
Epistaxis and gingival
Signs of increased
caused by cerebral
Complete lab studies to determine the
characteristics of all blood cells, including:
• Platelet count.
• Peripheral blood smear.
• Bleeding time.
Bone marrow aspiration to determine the
presence of immature platelets and
abnormalities of the bone marrow (eg.
Neoplastic invastion or aplastic anemia).
these have the ability to suppress
the phagocytic response of
blocks antibody receptors in the
removes the spleen in order to
stop the splenic macrophages
from destroying platelets.
Prevent infection and Monitor potential sites
trauma by practicing
and gentle handling of Maintain comfort
measures and bed
Check patient’s urine,
stool and emesis for
Always monitor vital
Inform patient of all signs and symptoms, and
importance of notifying physician with any
Teach preventative measures such as:
use stool softeners
maintain a high-fiber diet to prevent constipation
always check for presence of blood
use a soft toothbrush
blow nose gently
Depends on the underlying cause.
80% of patients benefit from splenectomy.
With ITP – treatment needs to be administered
3 – 4 weeks before complete response is seen.