Low platelets may be considered a mild issue for some, but if not treated immediately can lead to various complications. This problem can reduce your body’s ability to clot properly when an injury occurs. Take note that platelets are responsible for proper blood clotting when the person got wounded. Without them, excessive bleeding can’t be controlled and can eventually lead to death.
What will happen to the body if it has an extremely low platelet count?
A very small cut can take longer to stop if you don’t have enough platelets to prevent it. It is most likely to happen even on large wounds which can be fatal to the human. Be aware that the brain is the most affected part of the body that can suffer from internal hemorrhage. It cannot be detected unless several diagnostic tests are run.
The bleeding in the brain can dangerously progress while the diagnosis is being processed. Some signs can also indicate if the brain is bleeding. The person can feel nausea, severe headache, and vomiting. Part of the diagnostic test is taking a stool sample. It will allow the medical experts to determine if there is blood present on the intestinal tract. A cardiac arrhythmia can happen if this problem is left untreated.
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A blood-thinning medication can also lead to low platelet count, but it can go beyond that. It contains heparin, which is responsible for thinning the blood and destroying the platelets at the same time. As a result, the fluid can crowd in the lining that surrounds the heart. In this condition, the cardiac muscle finds it difficult to pump the blood that should travel all throughout the different organs of the body.
Petechiae can also appear in the skin of the person with low platelet count. It is a small red spot that can increase in number as the level of platelets drops down. Purpura can also happen in this condition. It is characterized by purplish or brownish bruises that develop on the skin. These two skin problems occur because the blood cannot clot properly. In return, the blood will travel in the mucous membranes and layers of the skin.
The corneas may also be affected by which you will notice the blood that flushed through it. Blood blisters can also develop that can also spread in the mouth. Nosebleed is another common symptom that exists when a person has low platelet count. It can be fatal if the bleeding continues more than 10 minutes so, it is essential to report it to the physician.
Average platelet count
It is essential to take note of the different severity levels of having a low platelet count. Some cases can be treated at home while others can lead to hospitalization and blood transfusion. A patient could die in worst conditions if he did not receive proper care.
Generally, the lower is your platelet count, the higher is the possibility for it to cause death. The average platelet count should be between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. If the platelet count drops to 50,000, bruises may appear on the skin and bleeding can occur. It is the stage that the person should take extra precautions before the platelet count becomes too low.
It can be life-threatening if the platelet count drops below 20,000. You can bleed spontaneously even if you are not wounded or injured. It is the stage that a person can develop internal bleeding which can affect the brain and other internal organs. It is expected that the doctor will recommend a whole blood or platelet transfusions to normalize the platelet count.
It is essential to seek for medical attention as early as any of the following symptoms occur:
- Vomiting blood
- Abdominal pain
- Nosebleeds and gum bleeding that continue for more than 10 minutes
- Black or bloody stool
- Bruises in different parts of the body
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Blurry vision
- A severe headache
- Red urine
When these signs occur, make sure to take extra precautions while waiting for the treatment. Do not take any medications because it can trigger the complications to become worse. It includes aspirin and over-the-counter drugs especially those that are not prescribed by the doctor.
Make sure to put a clean cloth to the affected part and apply pressure if the bleeding occurs on the wounded area and it persists longer. Call your doctor right away if the bleeding won’t stop after 10 minutes of applying pressure.
Do not bend your head if nose bleeding happens. Sit upright and apply pressure to the nostrils. Let the blood drip out by tilting forward. Do not blow your nose, instead, call a doctor if this first aid did not stop the occurrence of the issue.
Seek for immediate medical attention if you have a heavy menstrual flow. If you are having difficulty in bowel movement, avoid using suppositories as it may complicate your condition. Instead, ask for a doctor’s prescription so he can provide you a stool softener. It is also essential to keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water. It can also prevent constipation and replace the lost fluids from your body. Wear loose shirts or anything that makes you feel comfortable.
It is essential to learn the effects of low platelet count so you can start doing some ways that can prevent its occurrence. Although some of its causes are due to inheritance from the family, knowing the facts about this health condition can help you do extra precautions to take care of yourself.
If the diagnostic tests show that the problem is preventable, you need to have best practices to ensure that issues will not lead to complications. You can start by eating the right kinds of foods and avoid alcohol or other vices. Stay away from toxic chemicals and include detoxification in your routine. These tips will help you combat this health issue and prevent the costly hospitalization and hassles.