If you have thrombocytopenia, watch for any signs and symptoms of bleeding. Report these signs and symptoms to your doctor right away.
Symptoms can appear suddenly or over time. Severe thrombocytopenia can cause bleeding in almost any part of the body. Bleeding can lead to a medical emergency and should be treated right away.
You can take steps to avoid health problems associated with thrombocytopenia. Be aware of the medicines you’re taking, avoid injuries, and contact your doctor if you have a fever or other signs or symptoms of an infection.
Avoid medicines that may affect your platelets and raise your risk of bleeding. Two examples of such medicines are aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines may thin your blood too much. Be careful when using over-the-counter medicines—many contain aspirin or ibuprofen.
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies.
Avoid injuries that can cause bruising and bleeding. Don't take part in contact sports such as boxing, football, or karate. These sports are likely to lead to injuries that can cause bleeding.
Other sports, such as skiing or horseback riding, also put you at risk for injuries that can cause bleeding. Ask your doctor about physical activities that are safe for you.
Take safety precautions, such as using a seatbelt while riding in a car and wearing gloves when working with knives and other tools.
If your child has thrombocytopenia, try to protect him or her from injuries, especially head injuries that can cause bleeding in the brain. Ask your child's doctor whether you need to restrict your child's activities.
If you've had your spleen removed, you may be more likely to become ill from certain types of infection. Watch for fever or other signs of infection and report them to your doctor promptly. People who have had their spleens removed may need vaccines to prevent certain infections.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.