Thrombocytopenia, or a low platelet count, can be inherited or may be caused by medications or conditions including chronic liver disease. Platelets are cells produced by the bone marrow and are normally found in the blood to help blood clot. A normal platelet count is 150,000 to 350,000. Patients with platelet counts greater than 50,000 do not typically have symptoms. Severe thrombocytopenia is defined as a platelet count below 50,000.
When platelet counts are low, this can lead to bruising and bleeding more easily than usual. Low platelet counts can also lead to an increased risk of bleeding in patients undergoing medical or dental procedures. Due to the risks of bleeding, procedures may be delayed or cancelled until platelet levels increase.