In general, people with thrombocytopenia can be treated with blood transfusions and other medications to help manage their condition.
People who do not respond to these treatments can be given intravenous (IV) fluids to help them maintain a healthy blood volume.
People who have a condition that affects their blood volume, such as anemia, can also be given intravenous (IV) fluids.
How is thrombocytopenia prevented?
There are several ways to prevent thrombocytopenia and the associated bleeding risk.
Some people may not be able to take blood thinners because of their condition. Others may not be able to take these drugs because of their age.
People with cancer or other conditions that affect their blood volume may not be able to take blood thinners.
People with thrombocytopenia should speak with their doctor about the risk of bleeding and the potential benefits and risks of taking blood thinners.
What is the long-term outlook?
People with thrombocytopenia are more likely to have a bleeding disorder over time. This can lead to a reduced quality of life.
The long-term outlook for people with thrombocytopenia depends on the cause of the condition and whether treatment is successful.
The outlook is better for people who have a bleeding disorder and are found to have an underlying condition, and worse for people who do not have a bleeding disorder and are not found to have an underlying condition.
What is the treatment of thrombocytopenia?
People with thrombocytopenia should speak with their doctor about the potential benefits and risks of taking blood thinners.
The specific treatment for thrombocytopenia depends on the underlying condition and the person’s response to treatment.
If someone is prescribed blood thinners, it is important that they take them correctly and that they do not stop taking them for several weeks or longer.
Some blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding, so people should take blood thinners as prescribed to minimize the risk of complications.
A person should speak with their doctor if they notice any bleeding after starting a blood thinner.
They may need to adjust the dosage of their medication or switch to a different medication.
People with thrombocytopenia should also speak with their doctor about other medications that they are taking.
Some people with thrombocytopenia have a condition that affects their blood volume, such as anemia.
People who are taking blood thinners and have anemia should speak with their doctor before they start taking anemia medications.
Some people take blood thinners and take other medications to help manage their condition, such as erythropoietin-stimulating agents.
People who take these medications should speak with their doctor about the potential benefits and risks of these medications.
If someone is prescribed erythropoietin-stimulating agents, they should speak with their doctor about the potential benefits and risks of taking these medications.
If a medication causes a person to stop taking it for a short period of time, they should speak with their doctor about the potential benefits and risks of stopping this medication.
People should also speak with their doctor if they notice any new symptoms that might be related to their blood thinner or medication.
People who have an underlying condition or a bleeding disorder should speak with their doctor before beginning any new treatments.
People who have an underlying condition or a bleeding disorder should speak with their doctor about any new symptoms, including:
- Unusual bleeding
- Blood in the urine or stool
- Unusual bruising
- Bleeding gums
- Bleeding from the rectum
People should also speak with their doctor if they notice any changes in their appearance, such as:
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
A person should also speak with their doctor about any symptoms that they are experiencing, such as:
- Severe fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in vision
People should also speak with their doctor if they have any signs of bleeding in the mouth or nose, such as:
- Blood in the stool
- Blood in vomit
- Blood in vomit or in the urine
- Blurred vision
- Nail changes
- Bleeding from the gums
- Bleeding from other parts of the body
- Bleeding from under the skin
- Blood in the vomit or stool that is bloody and looks like coffee grounds
What are the complications of thrombocytopenia?
A person with thrombocytopenia may experience:
- Irregular bleeding
- Bleeding from any area of the body
If a person has an underlying condition or a bleeding disorder, they are at a higher risk of complications from their condition.
The complications can include:
- Bleeding into tissue, such as in the lungs or stomach
- Bleeding into joints, such as in the knees or ankles
- Bleeding into the brain
People with an underlying condition or a bleeding disorder can have a higher risk of:
- Blood vessel damage
- Blood vessel leaks
- Blood vessel clotting
- Other blood-related complications
Having thrombocytopenia increases the person’s risk of developing a blood clot.
The risk of developing a blood clot increases if they stop taking their blood thinner or if they have a bleeding disorder or an underlying condition.
People with a bleeding disorder or an underlying condition may have a condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).
TTP is a serious condition in which a person has an overactive immune system and platelets.
TTP can cause the blood vessels in their body to harden and become blocked. This can cause bleeding.
TTP can affect people with thrombocytopenias, and they may need treatment.
People may also need treatment for:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Heart attack
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
What can cause thrombocytopenia?
There are several different types of thrombocytopenia, and they are associated with different underlying conditions.
The types of thrombocytopenia include:
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
- Acquired thrombocytopenia
- Severe congenital neutropenia (SCN)
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML)
- Other blood stem cell disorders
ITP and acquired thrombocytopenia can be genetic, and they have a genetic cause.
People with SCN may have a blood type that triggers the platelet destruction and decreased platelet levels.
People with SCN may also have a blood type and a genetic mutation that causes a blood type to trigger the destruction of the blood’s platelets.
SCN is a rare condition. It is estimated that about 1 in every 1 million people have SCN.
MDS is a condition that affects the bone marrow and causes the body to produce too many blood cells.
The bone marrow makes blood stem cells that are responsible for making platelets.
Having blood platelets that are too low can lead to bleeding in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and other areas.
People with thrombocytopenias may also have a bleeding disorder, such as von Willebrand disease (VWD) or hemophilia.
People with an underlying condition or a blood disorder, such as TTP, may also develop a blood clot.
A person should speak with their doctor if they notice any new symptoms, including unusual bleeding
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