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Lukemia - Low Platelet Count

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Old 12-08-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Carrollton, TX USA
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sdritter71 HB User
Lukemia - Low Platelet Count

What happens to the body if the platelet count drops to 0?

My step father has lukemia and has really gone down hill the past few months. He is currently in the hospital waiting for the end. He's done with treatment and just wants it to be over and be out of pain. The doctors say he could live up to 2 weeks, but I know his platelet count is going to drop to 0 very soon. He was getting blood and platelets at least once a week to keep them up. Is there anyone out there that can tell me what will happen when his count hits 0? Will he go fast? Is it painful?

Last edited by sdritter71; 12-09-2008 at 07:16 AM.

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Old 12-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sonoma, CA USA
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TopamaxKillsMe HB User
Re: Lukemia - Low Platelet Count

I had a similar situation with my mother so I'll tell you what hospice told me.

Mom had Multiple Myeloma and was essentially being sustained w/ platelet transfusions. They would transfuse under 30 which ended up being twice a week towards the end. they would also tranfuse blood when her hemoglobin was down. they would give her nupogen injections to boost her WBC count and procrit to boost her RBC count.

Finally, when I was told that it was time for hospice, they asked me what I wanted to do about transfusing. I asked them to transfuse platelets the Saturday before she went to hospice. She went to hospice the very next day (sunday) and she died teh following Saturday at 6am. So it was less than a week before she died.

I asked the hospice nurses about the platelets and what would happen if it went to zero and they said she would just be more prone to bleeding but that it wouldn't necessarily kill her. In the end she was bleeding from her mouth and her nose. The hospice nurses all said it was "normal".

It is a horrible, horrible thing to watch a loved one go like that and my heart goes out to you. I am there right now and it is something that has haunted me every second of every minute of everyday since my mom died.

Old 12-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Carrollton, TX USA
Posts: 2
sdritter71 HB User
Re: Lukemia - Low Platelet Count

Thank you so much for the info. My heart goes out to you for your loss. I already lost my father to cancer 14 years ago and now it strikes our family again! The last time my step father received blood and platelets was last Monday. I'm assuming it will be a matter of days at this point. He's still in the hospital receiving morphine, so hopefully he can go without any pain.

Thank you again and may God be with you to help you with your loss.

Old 04-22-2010, 01:54 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 7
mary1977 HB User
Re: Lukemia - Low Platelet Count

when your platlets drop to 0, you need a transfusion very fast. platlets help clot your blood. if you don't have them, you can bleed to death if you hit your head or fall. it is very important to keep your platlet count up. i am in remission with AML, and with my last chemo treatment, (which was only 1/2 instead of the whole thing, i had to have 6 platlet tranfusions; and a red blood trans. it is extremely important that you continue to have the trans. in order to keep your counts up.

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