Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,083
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Does anyone know anything about platelets? We found out that my husband's platelets are very low, and he had a bone marrow biopsy to check that out.  He'll find out the first part of Jan. about the results of that biopsy.  Seems like his shortness of breath was caused by fluid in his body so was put on water pills, and that has helped his breathing.


Valued Contributor
Posts: 808
Registered: ‎04-20-2010

Go to WebMD or Mayo Clinic website and search low platelets.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,018
Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Based on my regular blood donations, I became a platelet donor as well for several years.  I am in southern WV, and my platelets were sent to various hospitals in VA, OH, and PA.   Cancer and burn patients are usually the recipients of platelet donations.  


I traveled over 90 miles round trip to the Red Cross donor center to make my monthly donation, which took 2 hrs from start to finish.  


Platelet donation is similar to a blood donation, but the blood that flows out of one arm runs thru a machine that separates the platelets into a small bag, and returns the blood thru a large needle in the other arm.  That small bag of pearl colored liquid is processed within hours, transported to where it is needed, and used promptly due to short shelf life.  


After years of these donations, I developed nerve damage from the large bore needles, and per my Dr., had to stop donating to let those nerves heal.  After 5+ years, my nerve damage appears to be permanent, so I am limited to blood donations.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 34,493
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) has many causes. The discussion about that condition should be one with your doctor. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,832
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

@RedTop You are awesome, you saved lives!  I hope the nerve damage isn't too troubling.  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,452
Registered: ‎02-02-2015

The results of the biopsy should determine if it is ITP.   I can’t speak to the other symptoms, but platelets can go quite low with no outward symptoms.  When there are symptoms, many times it’s unexplained bruising on the body or inside the mouth.  

Valued Contributor
Posts: 708
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

Unfortunately I know a bit too much about platelets.

I had a larged DVT (a number of yrs ago) and was put on blood thinners--that causes platelets to go down low because of being on blood thinners. Platelets help with too much bleeding and help you when you need to develop a scab. My sister also went thru stage 4 cancer in 2001 and my husband donated platelets to her during that time. It is a long about two hour process for that. Almost anyone can be a platelet donor --it is not necessary to have matching blood type. But there are some medications and supplements that if on you should not and can not donate platelets.

They platelets are important as they help in stopping excess bleeding and hemorraging.There is more information that you need to talk to your doctor regarding this.

I hope all turns out well.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,037
Registered: ‎11-24-2013

I learned a ton about platelets when I had cancer. Very interesting. Fortunately my platelets always stayed in the 'safe" range.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 34,493
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

I'm a retired medical lab specialist of hematology and chemistry. I know about platelets, bone marrow and the donation process. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,504
Registered: ‎05-22-2014

@gloriajean, I will be thinking of you and your husband, hoping for positive news about this issue.  Sending you my best wishes.