Platelet disorders are conditions that occur when the platelet count in a person’s blood is too high or too low or when one’s platelets don’t function as intended. Platelets are small blood cells made in the bone marrow from larger cells. When a person gets injured, platelets form a clot to seal the wound. Blood clots aid in reducing or stopping bleeding.
Types of Platelet Disorders
A higher-than-normal platelet count: Also known as thrombocytosis or thrombocythemia. Blood clots can develop in a person’s arteries as a result of having too many platelets. This can block blood flow through one’s body.
A lower-than-normal platelet count: This is known as thrombocytopenia. Some other types of thrombocytopenia are immune thrombocytopenia and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Your blood does not clot normally when your platelet count is low.
Symptoms of Platelet Disorders
Blood in urine or stools
Unusually heavy menstrual flows
Bleeding from the gums or nose
Prolonged bleeding from cuts
Petechiae, which are tiny reddish-purple spots, are a sign of superficial bleeding into the skin and are typically present on the lower thighs.
Spleen or liver that is larger than normal
Weakness and confusion
Causes of Platelet Disorders
Factors that have an impact on how your body produces platelets are the source of platelet disorders. Your immune system may potentially destroy your platelets as a result of certain causes. Some people have a platelet problems from birth, while others get it as they age.
Risk Factors of Platelet Disorders
Age: For instance, essential thrombocythemia is more common in individuals above age 50.
Family history and genetics
Certain medications: In particular if you have a family history or other risk factors, several common medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or antibiotics you might take for an illness, may raise your risk of developing a platelet disorders.
Medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, blood and bone marrow disease, hemolysis, inflammations, kidney or liver disease, serious bleeding, and spleen that is larger than normal.
Sex: Most platelet disorders are more common in women
Treatment of Platelet Disorders
One may need one or more of the following procedures to treat platelet disorders:
Plasma exchange: This procedure is often used to treat thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. During this process, a machine that collects your blood cell is used to replace the liquid component of your blood (plasma) with donor plasma.
Plasma infusion: Mostly used to treat thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura caused by an individual’s body not making enough of a protein called ADAMTS13. It helps replace the missing protein.
Platelet transfusion: When you are bleeding severely, this procedure is performed to immediately raise your platelet count. Possible complications include infectious disease, allergic reaction, and trouble with subsequent transfusions.
Plateletpheresis: This is normally used to treat life-long clotting in individuals who have a high platelet count. This procedure removes platelets from one’s blood and returns the liquid part of the blood (plasma) to the bloodstream.
Bone marrow transplant: Life-threatening platelet abnormalities can be treated with this treatment. It is used to treat illnesses brought on by a lack of platelets produced by the stem cells in a person’s bone marrow.
Surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy): Removing the spleen will help raise platelet count. This helps treat a low platelet count.
Platelet disorders are typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history evaluation, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes bone marrow aspiration or biopsy. Blood tests may include a complete blood count (CBC), platelet function tests, and tests to identify any underlying causes or associated conditions.
Treatment for platelet disorders depends on the specific disorder and its underlying cause. Common treatment options may include medications to increase platelet production, medications to enhance platelet function, blood transfusions, and in some cases, surgical procedures or removal of the spleen. Treatment plans are individualized based on the patient's condition.
Dubai has a range of medical facilities and hospitals where you can find treatment for platelet disorders. It is recommended to consult with a hematologist or a specialized medical center that focuses on blood disorders to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment options.