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Types of Blood Disorders

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Blood Disorders Affecting Platelets

Blood disorders that affect the platelets include:

Thrombocytopenia : A low number of platelets in the blood; numerous conditions cause thrombocytopenia, but most do not result in abnormal bleeding.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: A condition causing a persistently low number of platelets in the blood, due to an unknown cause; usually, there are no symptoms, yet abnormal bruising, small red spots on the skin (petechiae), or abnormal bleeding can result.

Heparin -induced thrombocytopenia: A low platelet count caused by a reaction against heparin, a blood thinner given to many hospitalized people to prevent blood clots

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: A rare blood disorder causing small blood clots to form in blood vessels throughout the body; platelets are used up in the process, causing a low platelet count.

Essential thrombocytosis (primary thrombocythemia): The body produces too many platelets, due to an unknown cause; the platelets do not work properly, resulting in excessive clotting, bleeding, or both.

Blood Disorders Affecting Blood Plasma

Blood disorders that affect blood plasma include:

Sepsis : An infection somewhere in the body spreads into the blood. Symptoms include fever, rapid breathing, respiratory failure, and low blood pressure.

Hemophilia : A genetic deficiency of certain proteins that help blood to clot; there are multiple forms of hemophilia, ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening.

von Willebrand disease: von Willebrand factor is a protein in blood that helps blood to clot. In von Willebrand disease, the body either produces too little of the protein, or produces a protein that doesn't work well. The condition is inherited, but most people with von Willebrand disease have no symptoms and don't know they have it. Some people with von Willebrand disease will have excessive bleeding after an injury or during surgery.

Hypercoaguable state (hypercoagulable state): A tendency for the blood to clot too easily; most affected people have only a mild excess tendency to clot, and may never be diagnosed. Some people develop repeated episodes of blood clotting throughout life, requiring them to take a daily blood thinning medicine.

Deep venous thrombosis: A blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg; a deep venous thrombosis can dislodge and travel through the heart to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): A condition that causes tiny blood clots and areas of bleeding throughout the body simultaneously; severe infections, surgery, or complications of pregnancy are conditions that can lead to DIC.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on December 16, 2014
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