What are some nursing interventions for thrombocytopenia

Clinic for Internal Medicine IHematology, oncology and stem cell transplantation

What is thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia or thrombopenia is a reduction in the number of platelets (thrombocytes) in the blood to <150,000 / µl. This increases the risk of bleeding events, which as a rule only occur when the value falls below a limit of approx. 20,000 / µl


The causes of thrombopenia can be divided into three different categories: disturbance of platelet formation, redistribution of a large part of the platelets in the spleen (sequestration) or accelerated consumption of platelets. Since each of these mechanisms can have different causes, a multitude of disorders can ultimately lead to thrombopenia. Possible causes are, for example, infections, vitamin deficiencies, tumor diseases, alcohol abuse, genetic predispositions, artificial heart valves or the use of medication.


Symptoms can vary based on the occurrence of Bleeding show different localization. Punctiform bleeding into the skin or mucous membranes or an increase in normal menstruation can be noticed. Occasionally, profuse nosebleeds also occur.

After a detailed consultation with a doctor and a thorough physical examination, various blood tests are carried out. In addition, a sonography (ultrasound) of the abdomen can be performed. If the cause cannot be narrowed down further, a bone marrow puncture may be necessary. Depending on the results of the examinations, further diagnostic steps may follow.


The therapy of thrombopenia depends on the cause of the disorder, underlying diseases require treatment. Medicines that prevent the platelets from clumping together (e.g. aspirin) should not be taken in this situation in order not to further increase the risk of bleeding. In patients with a tumor disease, thrombopenia often occurs in the course of chemotherapy, which is caused by the Transfusion corrected by platelets.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Waller or Dr. Heinz.