There are other causes that might lead to thrombocytopenia. For example, cancers like leukemia or lymphoma can damage the bone marrow and destroy blood stem cells. Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, also destroy the stem cells. Genetics can also play role in thrombocytopenia recurrence especially in some families.
A plastic anemia is also another blood condition that lowers level of platelets in blood due to its destructive effect in the bone marrow.
Viruses such as chickenpox, mumps, rubella, Epstein-Barr virus, or parvovirus can decrease the platelet count. Thrombocytopenia has also been seen in people exposed to HIV virus especially in poorly controlled cases.
Heavy alcoholic takers have also been found to suffer episodes of low platelets especially those who do not feed well after drinking. They always need food supplements with iron, vitamin B12 and folates.
A low platelet count can occur after blood poisoning from a widespread bacterial infection.
Reactions to some drugs can make the body to destroy its platelets. It is now days seen in a few patients' especially young children treated with quinine and antibiotics that contain sulfate compounds.
Heparin is a medicine commonly used to prevent blood clots. But an immune reaction may trigger the medicine to cause blood clots and thrombocytopenia. This condition is called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. This is a problem that is commonly seen in hospitals.
Dr Joseph Kamugisha is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel