What Is Thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia or platelet ( thrombocyte ) deficiency is a medical term used to decrease platelet counts below the minimum threshold. Normal thrombosite values are 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. Platelets or often referred to as platelets (blood chips) have an important function in the human body, which is to help the process of blood clotting so that excessive bleeding does not occur.

Thrombocytopenia can be experienced by children and adults and will cause sufferers more susceptible to bleeding. Although rare, untreated thrombocytopenia can trigger deep bleeding that can even be fatal (eg, cerebral hemorrhage). Especially if the platelet count of patients is below 10,000 per microliter of blood.

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia
Thrombocytopenia sometimes shows no symptoms. If any, the main symptoms are bleeding. Such indications can occur outside or inside the body and are sometimes difficult to stop. Examples are nosebleeds , bleeding gums, and wounds that continue to bleed. Other symptoms that may accompany thrombocytopenia may be:
  • Fatigue.
  • Blood in urine or feces.
  • Menstruation with excessive blood volume .
  • Bruises on the body.
  • Purplish red spots on the skin, especially the legs.
  • Swelling of the spleen.
  • Jaundice.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, someone is encouraged to see a doctor. Severe bleeding requires emergency help at the hospital.

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Causes of thrombocytopenia
Many things can be behind the occurrence of thrombocytopenia. Under normal conditions, platelets will be produced and formed in the spinal cord. But if you have thrombocytopenia, the number of platelets in the blood of patients is not sufficient numbers should be.

This deficiency can be caused by decreased platelet production or faster platelet destruction process of the production process. This condition can be triggered by several factors that include:
  • Certain cancers , such as blood cancer and lymphoma . Both types of cancer will damage the spinal cord, thereby lowering platelet production.
  • Blood disorders , for example aplastic anemia . In this disease, the bone marrow will stop producing new blood cells, including platelets.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption. Excessive consumption of alcohol will decrease platelet production in the spinal cord.
  • The process of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Both types of therapy is capable of destroying stem cells that will eventually develop into platelets.
  • Contact with chemicals. Long-term, long-term contact with chemicals such as pesticides and arsenic will result in decreased rate of platelet production in the spinal cord.
  • Viral infections , such as HIV , chicken pox , and hepatitis C. Infection by these viruses will decrease platelet production.
  • Bacterial infections in the blood or so-called bacteremia. Bacteraemia will increase the process of platelet destruction, so the number of healthy platelets in the blood will decrease.
  • Certain drugs , such as heparin , quinine , or antikejang drugs. Some types of drugs will outwit the immune system, until finally attacking healthy platelets. As a result, the number of platelets in the blood will decrease.
  • Autoimmune conditions , such as lupus , rheumatoid arthritis , and idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP). In these conditions, the immune system will attack healthy cells, including platelets.
Thrombocytopenia can also occur when many platelets are trapped in the swollen spleen. This can happen to a woman during pregnancy. But this condition will gradually improve after childbirth.

Diagnosis of thrombocytopenia
The process of diagnosis of thrombocytopenia begins with the physician asking for symptoms as well as examining the patient's physical condition. For example bruises or red spots on the skin. In addition, the doctor will also ask the patient's medical history.

If there is a suspicion of thrombocytopenia, the doctor will advise further examination through a blood test. Through this examination, the doctor will know the number of platelets in the blood.

Platelet counts below 150,000 will indicate that the patient has thrombocytopenia. If the platelet count drops to below 50,000, the patient is potentially bleeding.

Your doctor may suggest some additional checks such as:
  • Examination of blood smear. On this examination, the blood will be examined under a microscope. This examination is used to look at the structure and condition of cells in the blood.
  • Spinal examination of the spinal cord. This examination is done to see the number and condition of blood cells in the bone marrow.

Step Treatment of Thrombocytopenia
Not all thrombocytopenia patients need special treatment. A mild condition of thrombocytopenia tends to cause no symptoms and can heal by itself.

However, it is different with patients with severe or chronic thrombocytopenia. The method of treatment they will undergo depends on 2 things, namely the cause and severity of the condition. Treatment of thrombocytopenia like this can be done by:
  • Addressing the underlying cause of thrombocytopenia. If tombocytopenia is caused by side effects of a drug, then the patient should stop taking or substituting a drug that triggers this condition.
  • The use of steroidal cortics in order for the immune system to stop attacking and destroying the platelets.
  • Blood transfusion , especially for emergency conditions.
  • The use of drugs to increase the number of platelet sufferers.
  • Surgical removal of the lymphatic organ. This step will be advisable when other handling proves to be ineffective.
In addition to medical treatment, patients can also take simple steps to prevent the condition worse and avoid complications. Among them are:
  • Using a soft toothbrush to keep the gums from bleeding.
  • Steer clear of activities that can trigger injuries or injuries , such as heavy sports such as futsal.
  • Be careful when using over-the-counter medicines . There are several types of drugs that can affect platelet performance, such as ibuprofen .
  • Stop consuming liquor . Alcohol content can inhibit platelet production in the body and exacerbate bleeding.

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