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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

Low platelets (thrombocytopenia)

Platelets are tiny cell fragments that work with clotting factor proteins to help your blood to clot if you get cut.

Low platelets or thrombocytopenia can occur as a part of another disorder, such as leukaemia or an immune system problem. It can also be a side effect of taking some medications.

Thrombocytopenia is often mild and causes few signs or symptoms. You may notice:

You may not need any treatment if your platelets are only mildly low. They may improve with time.

You might need to treat the cause of your low platelets, for example by stopping a medication.

If your low platelet count is severe you may need a blood or platelet transfusion.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2020.

See also:

Understanding your complete blood count results

Page reference: 167828

Review key: HILPL-167828