Information on Platelets
Platelets or thrombocytes are present in the blood whose function is to prevent excessive bleeding when a person is hurt. Their surface is sticky which enables them to form clots important for healing the wounds. When there is the wound on the body which bleeds, platelets gather to prevent the blood flow. In such manner, the bleeding is stopped, the blood thickens and form a clot or scab. If a person is deficient in thrombocytes certain health problems can occur which needs to be treated.
Signs and Symptoms
Normal amount of platelets in the microliter of blood ranges from 150,000 to 400,000. If a blood test shows that a person has less platelets than established normal values then he or she has thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia is a condition when someone's blood is lacking platelets. If the values of platelets are too low this is the case of mild thrombocytopenia which can be cured successfully. It does not cause any serious difficulties or deteriorates the health in the long run. The person may get bruises very easily or without any particular reason. Mouth or gums are likely to bleed. Nose bleeding is also quite common symptom of low platelets. Low platelets also affect the skin and are manifested as a slight skin rash, when red spots appear throughout the body. It is possible to notice blood in the urine or stool. Women experience heavier menstrual cycles, pains and profuse bleeding.
However, low platelets can be the sign of some disease. Therefore, the person has to seek medical help for proper treatment. People with HIV infections or the ones suffering from leukemia have decreased level of thrombocytes. The very characteristic of leukemia as a cancer of the blood disables the body to have sufficient amount of platelets.
The concerning number of platelets is the one below 20,000 per microliter. The blood of the affected person is unable to form clots so the person may bleed to death even. The person is susceptible to touch and bruises may appear all over the body. Bleeding may be triggered even when there are no injuries. Low levels of platelets may lead to anemia when the blood cannot supply the cells with enough oxygen. Anemia's symptoms include increased number of heart beats per minute, dizziness, feeling of tiredness and weakness, headaches, and ear ringing. Thrombocytopenia may have some more adverse effects on the health if the bleeding comes from the body, e.g. from digestive organs or from the brain and thus may be fatal.