Thrombocytopenic purpura (TP) is characterized by cutaneous hemorrhages occurring in association with a reduced platelet count; hemorrhages are clinically usually small (petechiae) but at times larger (ecchymoses) and occur at sites of minor trauma/pressure (platelet count <40,000/ μL) or spontaneously (platelet count < 10,000/ μL).
Platelet plugs by themselves effectively stop bleeding from capillaries and small blood vessels but are incapable of stopping hemorrhage from larger vessels. Platelet defects therefore produce problems with small-vessel hemostasis, small hemorrhages in the skin or in the CNS.
* Bruising (purpura): purplish areas on the skin or mucus membranes (such as in the mouth) due to bleeding. The bruises may occur for no apparent reason.
* Petechiae: pinpoint red spots on the skin (typically the legs) that often occur in groups and may look like a rash. The spots are due to bleeding under the skin.
* Bleeding that is hard to stop.
* Heavy menstrual bleeding in women.
* Blood in the stool (bowel movement)
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