Thrombocytopenia refers to a reduction in the normal levels of functional platelets, which can increase your risk of bruising and bleeding.
Bleeding and low platelets (thrombocytopenia)
Thrombocytopenia refers to a reduction in your normal levels of functional platelets, which can increase your risk of bruising and bleeding.
Your doctor will monitor your platelet level with blood tests if you are at risk of low platelets. To help prevent injury/bleeding when you are at risk of or have low platelets, you should:
- Use an electric razor
- Yse a soft tooth brush and avoid dental floss or toothpicks
- Wear gloves and protective shoes in the garden
- Avoid using aspirin and ibuprofen like medications for pain relief (talk to your care team for further information)
If you experience minor bleeding, basic first aid principles apply:
- Apply direct pressure on the wound
- Elevate the injured limb if possible
A platelet transfusion may be necessary depending on your clinical situation. You can get further information from your care team or access the Australian Red Cross Blood Service factsheet “I need to know about platelets”.
- Cancer Council Victoria (2020). Side effects of chemotherapy. Retrieved 14 October 2020 from https://www.cancervic.org.au/cancer-information/treatments/treatments-types/chemotherapy/side_effects_of_chemotherapy.html
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