Mild to serious bleeding causes the main signs and symptoms of thrombocytopenia. Bleeding can occur inside your body (internal bleeding) or underneath your skin or from the surface of your skin (external bleeding).
Signs and symptoms can appear suddenly or over time. Mild thrombocytopenia often has no signs or symptoms. Many times, it's found during a routine blood test.
Check with your doctor if you have any signs of bleeding. 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.
External bleeding usually is the first sign of a low platelet count. External bleeding may cause purpura (PURR-purr-ah) or petechiae (peh-TEE-key-ay). Purpura are purple, brown, and red bruises. This bruising may happen easily and often. Petechiae are small red or purple dots on your skin.
Other signs of external bleeding include:
A lot of bleeding after surgery or dental work also might suggest a bleeding problem.
Heavy bleeding into the intestines or the brain (internal bleeding) is serious and can be fatal. Signs and symptoms include:
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