When should I be alarmed by blood and platelet counts?
Because the ranges considered normal are very wide, interpretation of the results can get muddy. One patient with a platelet count of 100,000 might have only minor bruising, for example, while another might have constant nosebleeds. It's also important to keep in mind that a patient's blood counts that are low as a result of chemotherapy and will rise again as his body manufactures new cells.
Most of the time, it's simply a case of waiting for the counts to rise again and keeping him safe in the meantime. However, for each count there is a level below which his doctor will take steps to elevate blood counts. These may include prescribing medicines or giving transfusions. Likewise, don't be surprised if his doctor postpones a chemo treatment if she decides his blood counts are too low.