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What can cause your platelets to drop?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 1419 Questions
Question
What causes platelet counts to drop into low 50's? Is alcohol over usage a possible cause? My female relative is 67 years old, lost sight in left eye due to temporal arteritis, and I firmly believe she has COPD, and has continued to smoke as she is severely depressed due to loss of husband of 50 years just a few months ago.......she is hospitalized and moved to ICU unit this a.m. They are waiting for needle biopsy results from lymph nodes in her neck....they said they could not do a larger surgical biopsy due to such low platelet count.......I may have overheard them talking about ventilation......I am over 70 and I don't think the outcome is going to be good.....is the liver function compromised when platelet counts are this low.........sometimes someone in family needs to be the voice of reason, I know she doesn't want machinery keeping her going, unless it is a short-term rest for her lungs.
Wed, 6 Jun 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Her platelets can be low due to liver or bone marrow issue

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to Healthcaremagic. Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in best way possible. First of all it's sad to know what your relative had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, low platelets in her case can be due to multiple reasons including liver on the top keeping her alcoholic history though if they are screening lymphnodes or bone marrow biopsy they might be trying to rule out any blood malignanices or bone marrow related issues.

If her condition is that critical to be put on mechanical ventilation, usually doctors do discuss among themselves about assurance of the primary disease to be reversible or curable and discuss with family as well for there willingness but usually if any irreversible condition is established putting on ventilator is not favored by doctors and they may discuss that with family for their consent.

No decision is done at own but at this stage nothing irreversible or incurable has been established so I would suggest to let the medical team of ICU decide about the plan.

Hope this has answered your query. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What can cause your platelets to drop? 5 hours later
First I would like to commend this doctor for his compassionate expression of understanding what our relative was going through.....he then answered more succinctly with the information I was able to provide.......not afraid to mention that ventilation would be suggested without discussing with family members.....and suggested letting the ICU team come up with a plan when test results are in. Thank you doctor......hopefully we will have more information tomorrow.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Thanks for the compliments

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Thanks alot for such warm compliments. I am humbled by that. You can keep me posted through the same thread regarding the latest progress. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What can cause your platelets to drop? 12 hours later
So sorry to report that my sister-in-law passed away early this morning. This in no way reflects upon your honest and sincere answer to the questions I posed. You had probably discerned I knew she was critically ill. Thank you again for your honest and open answers.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
I am sorry for your loss

Detailed Answer:
Hi! I am sorry to hear about your loss. Like we have discussed earlier, the criticality of the matter was so much so that even ventilator might not have sufficed the reversal of her primary condition. Also the other comorbodities were adding up into her deteriorating health but it's relieving that you people tried the best for every resource that was humanly possible to counter her illness. But it is indeed an irreparable loss for your family. Your concerns about her health shown the care you had for her. God bless you. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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