Platelets (Plts) aid our bodies in blood clotting and help prevent bleeding.  Thrombocytopenia is when the platelet count is below 100,000.  A normal platelet count is 160,000 – 370,000.  

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms may not appear unless the platelet count is very low (i.e. 1ess than 10,000 – 20,000).  They may include:

  • Bruising

  • Bleeding, oozing gums

  • Petechiae (little red spots under the skin - like freckles)

  • Black tarry stools

  • Blood in urine (cloudy to pink to red)

  • Nose bleeds

What to Do 

  • Use a soft toothbrush and avoid flossing

  • Avoid using a blade when shaving 

  • Blow your nose very gently

  • Use saline nasal spray or petroleum jelly to keep nostrils moist

  • Avoid constipation.  Use stool softeners, eat a high fiber diet.  Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing products

  • Avoid non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, i.e., ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®). 

  • Use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for minor pain, as this does not affect how your platelets work

  • Avoid activities that carry risk of injury (i.e. contact sports)

  • Apply pressure to blood drawing sites for 5 minutes after blood is drawn

Sexual Guidelines

  • Consult with your doctor or nurse on the safety of sexual activity as it relates to your blood counts

  • Use a water-soluble lubricant during sexual intercourse (K-Y Jelly®) to help reduce trauma to the vaginal tissues


Platelet (blood) transfusions may be given if symptoms occur and/or platelet count is less than 10,000 – 20,000.

Phone Numbers

Please feel free to call Dr.                                                            from           a.m. to        p.m. at                                               or you can reach the clinic nurses at ____________________ from           a.m. to           p.m. if you have questions or concerns.