Easy bruising, spontaneous nose bleeds, profuse bleeding after dental or surgical procedures, excessive bruising, and prolonged bleeding after a cut are all symptoms of a low platelet count, as reported by Mayo Clinic. The medical term for a low platelet count is thrombocytopenia.
Platelets are cells that travel through the blood and clump together at the site of blood vessel damage. The platelets form a clot to stop the bleeding from an injury. A human normally has 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood, as stated by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Because platelets only live for about 10 days, the bone marrow must constantly replenish them, notes Mayo Clinic.
In some people, the spleen traps too many platelets, preventing them from circulating in the blood. If the body does not produce enough platelets, a lower-than-normal number of platelets appears in the bloodstream. Leukemia, viral infections and anything that affects the bone marrow can all cause decreased platelet production, according to Mayo Clinic.
In some cases, the body destroys platelets faster than it produces them, reducing the number of platelets in the blood. Autoimmune diseases, pregnancy, hemolytic uremic syndrome and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura have all been linked to thrombocytopenia, as reported by Mayo Clinic. Some medications, such as heparin and sulfa-containing antibiotics, also cause increased breakdown of platelets.