What Are the Dangers of a Reduced Blood Platelet Level?

In severe cases of low platelet count or thrombocytopenia, patients suffer internal bleeding and experience symptoms such as blood in the urine or stool, or bleeding from the rectum, notes Healthline. In rare cases, thrombocytopenia leads to brain bleeding and causes a patient to suffer headaches or other neurological problems.

Having inadequate platelets in the blood makes it hard for the body to create clots because platelets are responsible for creating clots and stopping the bleeding when there is skin injury, explains Healthline. Depending on the cause, thrombocytopenia can be mild or severe. Some people suffer serious bleeding, while others do not experience symptoms.

People with bone marrow problems often have a low platelet count due to the bone marrow's inability to produce sufficient platelets, according to Healthline. Viral infections, iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, and aplastic anemia are some of the causes of low platelet production. Low platelet count is sometimes a symptom or side effect of pregnancy, autoimmune disorders, an enlarged spleen or medications such as diuretics.

Common symptoms of thrombocytopenia include nosebleeds; rashes with tiny red or purple dots; or brown, purple or red bruising, says Healthline. To treat severe thrombocytopenia, doctors generally recommend blood or platelet transfusions, immune globulin, steroids or corticosteroids. Patients may have to change medications if certain medicines are the reason for the low platelet count.