MDS is a bone marrow failure disorder

Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets help stop bleeding by clumping and forming plugs in blood vessel holes (clotting). Platelets also help maintain normal blood vessel health in the body. When a patient develops thrombocytopenia, the risk of bleeding or bruising increases. Thrombocytopenia is less common than anemia in patients with MDS. The primary concern for patients with thrombocytopenia is bleeding. The risk of bleeding is related to the severity of the thrombocytopenia. Certain medications may increase the risk of bleeding, such as blood thinners, aspirin, and other anti-inflammatory medications.

Things you can do:

  1. Record and track your blood counts, transfusion dates, and any symptoms before and after transfusions. You can enter these into MDS Manager and then bring the results with you to your next health care provider appointment to discuss the results.
  2. Keep all your appointments as scheduled.
  3. Let your health care providers know if you experience unusual bruising, uncontrolled bleeding, or develop petechiae.
  4. Avoid excess alcohol, which may contribute to platelet dysfunction.
  5. Avoid injuries (falls, cuts, scrapes) and activities that can cause bruising or bleeding, such as contact
  6. sports and heavy lifting.
  7. Avoid constipation or straining to have a bowel movement.
  8. Use a soft tooth brush.
  9. Ask for help from family and friends.

Additional Resources:

MDS Foundation:  Thrombocytopenia

Oncolink: Low Platelet Count

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