What Are Platelets?\nYour blood contains many types of cells. Each type has a different job to do.\nPlatelets \u2014 also called thrombocytes \u2014 are the cells that help your blood clot. The bone marrow produces them.\nRELATED:\u00a0Blood Clots: What You Should Know\nWhat is a Normal Platelet Count?\nPlatelet count is the number of platelets in the blood. A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 350,000.\nIt’s important to have enough platelets in your blood. If the number of platelets is too low, excessive bleeding can occur.\nThe medical name for a low platelet count is thrombocytopenia (throm-bo-sigh-toe-PEE-nee-uh).\nRELATED:\u00a0What Is “Blood Thinner?”\nWhat Causes a Low Platelet Count?\nSome things can affect how well the bone marrow can produce platelets. When the marrow doesn’t make enough platelets, the platelet count in your blood is too low.\nCancer treatments \u2014 such as chemotherapy and some radiation therapy \u2014 can slow the production of platelets in the bone marrow and temporarily cause a low platelet count.\nBone marrow cancer and some other health conditions can also cause a low platelet count.\nRELATED: What Is Leukemia?\nHow Will a Low Platelet Count Affect Me?\nA platelet count below 50,000 is low. This may cause you to bruise or bleed more easily than usual.\nA platelet count below 20,000 is very low. When it’s this low, you may bleed even when you’re not injured. Your doctor may order platelet transfusions until your count returns to a safe level.\nWhat Are the Symptoms of a Low Platelet Count?\nCall your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of the following symptoms:\n\n\n\n\n\nBleeding from your mouth or gums.\nNose bleeds.\nBruises on your arms or legs, with or without an injury.\nPinpoint-size, red or purple spots on your skin.\nBrown or red urine.\nBlack, tarry stool or bloody stool.\nBlood in your mucus.\n\n\n\n\nVomiting blood.\nVaginal spotting.\nLong or heavy menstrual flow.\nPersistent headache.\nBlurred or double vision.\nAbdominal pain.\n\n\n\n\n\nHow Should I Manage a Low Platelet Count?\nFor a low platelet count below 50,000, you must take precautions.\nFollow the guidelines below to help prevent or stop bleeding:\n\nDo not take any medicine \u2014 including over-the-counter drugs \u2014 without your doctor’s approval. It’s vital to avoid aspirin and other drugs that contain aspirin. If you’re not sure about a medicine, ask your doctor.\nUse a soft-bristle toothbrush. Do not use dental floss.\nDo not have dental work without your doctor’s approval. If you must have dental work, tell your dentist that you have a low platelet count.\nDo not do heavy lifting, contact sports, or strenuous exercise.\nDo not walk in bare feet.\nIf you feel weak and unsteady, have someone help you when walking.\nUse an emery board to care for your nails. Avoid cutting your nails with clippers.\nWhen shaving, do not use a razor blade. Use an electric razor instead.\nBe careful when using household tools, such as knives and scissors.\n\nRELATED:\u00a0Beware of Blood Clots: What You Should Know\nWhat Should I Do if I Get a Cut or Have a Nose Bleed?\n\n\n\nIf\nThen\n\n\nYou get a cut:\n\n\nPlace a clean cloth or a piece of gauze over the cut.\nApply pressure for a few minutes.\n\n\n\n\nYour cut continues to bleed:\n\n\nLie down and stay calm.\nKeep applying pressure. If possible, use an ice pack to apply pressure.\n\n\n\n\nYou get a nosebleed:\n\n\nSit upright then tilt forward to allow the blood to drip out.\nApply firm pressure to your nostrils, below the bridge of your nose.\n\n\n\n\n\nWhen Should I Call 9-1-1?\nGet emergency care for any of the following:\n\nA large loss of blood.\nBleeding that continues or gets worse after 10 minutes of pressure.\nBleeding that does not stop completely after 30 minutes.\nFeeling dizzy or lightheaded.