Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in the number of platelets. These cells help the body prevent bleeding. Platelets often decrease after most chemotherapy. These blood cells usually recover before the next scheduled dose. Since your platelets are low or may get low, you will need to protect your body from bleeding.
In order to prevent bleeding, when your counts are low:
Precautions to prevent bleeding
*If your platelet count is < 50,000*
- Use an electric razor, no blades.
- Lubricate lips with petroleum jelly or other lubricant at regular intervals.
- Do not use vaginal douches, rectal thermometer, rectal medications, or enemas.
- Menstruating females need to keep track of number of pads used.
- Oral Care:
- Use a soft toothbrush and brush after meals and at bedtime.
- Do not floss teeth.
- Use a stool softener to prevent constipation.
- Avoid IM injections; when necessary use smallest needle possible.
- Implement measures to prevent/manage nausea and vomiting.
- Have all labs drawn at one time and avoid prolonged tourniquet use.
- Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops after all invasive procedures.
- Take precautions to avoid injuries and falls.