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Acquired Platelet Function Defect

Overview

It is a set of diseases or associated conditions that cause the platelets (the blood cells essential for coagulation) to not function properly. Platelets are blood cells that are essential for blood clotting. Platelet disorders can include inappropriate number of platelets (too many or too few), or normal number but inappropriate functioning of the platelets. Any platelet disorder affects blood clotting.


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Causes

Disorders of platelet function can be caused by congenital diseases or acquired conditions. Acquired platelet function disorders are disorders of inappropriate platelet function, and that develop as a result of another disease or condition (acquired). In many cases, the platelet count may be normal or even elevated, but evidence of a bleeding disorder will be present. Myeloproliferative disorders such as primary thrombocytopenia, polycythemia vera, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and myelofibrosis can produce abnormalities in platelet function. Other causes include renal failure, multiple myeloma, and medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, penicillins, phenothiazides, prednisone (prolonged use) and others.


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Signs & Symptoms

The following symptoms are seen in platelet functioning defect: nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding, easily bruised, bleeding under the skin or in the muscles (soft tissues), abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal or heavy (menorrhagia) and prolonged menstrual bleeding (more than five days per menstrual period), gastrointestinal bleeding, vomiting blood or coffee ground material, bloody or dark black or tarry bowel movements (melena), skin rash, pinpoint red spots (petechiae), bruises (ecchymoses), multiple lesions, coughing up blood and abnormal colour of urine, with blood.

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Prevention

Care in the use of medications can reduce the risk of drug-related acquired platelet function defects. Treatment of other related disorders may also reduce risk. Some cases are not preventable.


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Treatments
Dialysis Modern Medicine

Treatment is directed at the cause of the abnormality. Dialysis reduces the bleeding tendency if the cause is renal failure. Platelet transfusions or plateletpheresis (removal of platelets from the blood and replacement with donated platelets) may be indicated in myeloproliferative disorders.

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