Can having low platelets cause pain and agitation?

Akalypso asked...

Can having low platelets cause pain and agitation?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Platelets are blood cells that help your blood to clot. Low platelets (called thrombocytopenia) usually occurs from a disease, like leukemia, or from a medication. Thrombocytopenia can range from mild cases, which will have few symptoms, to severe, where bleeding can easily occur.

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include: 1) Bleeding : from cuts/sores that takes a long time to stop, from your gums, nosebleeds, in urine or stools, heavy menstrual flows, after dental work or surgery. 2) Easy or frequent bruising: Petechiae: caused by bleeding into the surface skin. This looks like a rash of dark reddish-purple spots, like many tiny bruises, or bruising that is so severe that it causes painful lumps to form under the skin (called hematomas) very easily.

As for your question, low platelet counts technically could cause pain if there was massive bleeding internally, so much so that it is causing increased pressure in some area. As for agitation, the more likely cause of that might be from the pain or it may be from the disease process that is causing the low platelet count.