Thrombocythaemia

Rare in ICU patients; platelet counts often exceed 800 x 109/l.

Causes

Prolonged low-level bleeding, post-splenectomy, myeloproliferative disorders. Essential (idiopathic) thrombocythaemia is unusual.

Management

As the major risk is thrombosis, management is based upon mobilising the patient and administration of either prophylactic aspirin (150 mg bd PO) or LMW heparin (5000 IU od SC). Dipyridamole (300-600 mg tds PO) is occasionally used.

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