Thrombocytopenia – Diagnosis and Treatment

Thrombocytopenia is characterized by the decreased amount of thrombocytes or platelets in the blood. These blood cells are responsible for the clotting of blood in the event of an injury. A change in the level of these cells will result in blood clotting disorder which can be fatal.

Diagnosis of Thrombocytopenia
When you visit your doctor, they will take a medical history, which includes signs and symptoms, any bleeding, infections, and the current medications if there are any. The doctor will advise you to undergo a blood examination. A small amount of blood will be taken from your body and it is examined for any abnormalities. The blood examination usually includes a total blood count, and a microscopic examination of the blood. If any abnormality is noticed, one more test is done to confirm the results.

After reviewing your medical history and the blood test results, you will be referred to a hematologist. In case of severe thrombocytopenia, immediate treatment is required. Also, your doctor will advise you to undergo a bone marrow test. Bone marrow is the place where blood cells are produced in our body. The test is done to determine the actual cause of the problem. To do the test, a small sample of bone marrow is taken from the pelvis. You will be given local anesthesia for the procedure. The bone marrow test will give more information on the production of platelets. It will also help your doctor to find out if the illness is the result of any genetic abnormalities.

Treatment of Thrombocytopenia
Immediate medical treatment is necessary if the platelet count is very low. The condition becomes even worse if there is bleeding. In such cases, blood transfusion is done to increase the number of platelets. After the transfusion, the platelet count is measured again.

In cases where there has been no bleeding, the exact cause of the illness is found using diagnostic tests, and treatment is given accordingly. If the low platelet count is due to the use of a medication, it will be stopped. Antibiotics are given if there is any infection. If the patient has glandular fever, close observation is necessary, as there are no medicines available to treat the condition. If the real problem is in the bone marrow, blood transfusion will be necessary to achieve normal blood platelet count. For example, the use of chemotherapy may destroy the platelets, and transfusion therapy is prescribed.

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