Definition and Background
Platelets (thrombocytes) are highly important structure of our blood that helps the human body from bleeding out. Blood
platelets help with the clotting of blood. As someone starts to bleed, platelets gather to help clot the blood. Lacking an adequate amount of blood platelets would cause a person to bleed large amounts and bruise easily. A normal range of blood platelets is 150,000 to 400,000 platelets per micro-liter (mcl). When a patient has a low platelet count, it is often linked to an auto-immune disease that contributed. Since having low platelets is commonly unknown to patients, many people live with low platelets and never know. Having a critically low count of platelets (less than 30,000 platelets) is very dangerous. Critically low platelets have cause excessive bleeding and possibly death.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a condition where blood platelets are attacked by the immune system causing the body to have less platelets per micro-liter. when platelets levels are low a patient can experience a wide variety of symptoms. The main visible symptom is bruising. A patient have develop very large bruises that will appear from the slightest incident that most people would never notice.

Treatments for low platelet count
Due the lack of consistent reasons why platelet counts become low it is often difficult to treat. with Auto-immune disease being a high cause of low platelet counts, treatments vary. Platelet transfusions are one method of giving a patient a larger number of platelets but since the life of a blood platelet is between 5-9 day, it becomes a temporary fix. Many times the auto-immune disease will cause the platelets to diminish in number quickly. Steroids are a way of stimulating the production of platelets but they cause many other side-effects. Chemo-therapy is now becoming a more popular treatment for long term correction of platelet production but this has many risks involved for the patient and is not always a doctors first choice in treatment for patients due to the large number of variables.

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Sources:
http://www.fi.edu/learn/heart/blood/platelet.html
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003647.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/idiopathic-thrombocytopenic-purpura/DS00844
http://medicaljournalonline.blogspot.com/2012/04/platelets-and-its-functions.html