Managing Treatment for Low Platelets
A drop in platelet count, also known as thrombocytopenia, is a common side effect of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer treatment. And because platelets help make blood clot, having too few of them can lead to uncontrolled bleeding. (For more information on this problem, see Understanding Low Platelets.) Here's how to cope when platelet count drops too low.
Monitor platelet levels carefully.
Whenever a patient's platelet levels drop below 50,000 per microliter of blood, he's considered at risk for excessive bleeding. If his level drops below 10,000, he's in need of immediate medical attention. (For more information on blood counts, see Understanding Low Red Blood Counts.) Between 50,000 and 10,000, though, you'll be playing the waiting game, watching to see if his platelet count begins to rise, while protecting him from injury.