Question. Someone has a very low platelet level. I understand the low in of normal to be 150,000. What level is considered to be dangerous and requires an infusion? In other words, how low would a doctor allow those levels to get before giving the person platelets or whole blood? Thank you.
In an adult, a normal count is about 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
If platelet levels fall below 20,000 per microliter, spontaneous bleeding may occur and is considered a life-threatening risk. Patients who have a bone marrow disease, such as leukemia or another cancer in the bone marrow, often experience excessive bleeding due to a significantly decreased number of platelets (thrombocytopenia). As the number of cancer cells increases in the bone marrow, normal bone marrow cells are crowded out, resulting in fewer platelet-producing cells.
Low number of platelets may be seen in some patients with long-term bleeding problems (e.g., chronic bleeding stomach ulcers), thus reducing the supply of platelets. Decreased platelet counts may also be seen in patients with bacteiral infection (Gram-negative sepsis).
A platelet count is often ordered as a part of a complete blood count, which may be done at an annual physical examination. It is almost always ordered when a patient has unexplained bruises or takes what appears to be an unusually long time to stop bleeding from a small cut or wound.
No treatment is required when the platelet counts are more than 50000/ml.
Platelet transfusion is indicated for controlling severe hemorrhage. Platelet survival is increased if the platelets are transfused immediately .
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