Immediate Questions

A. Is there active bleeding? There is increased risk of spontaneous hemorrhage with platelet counts < 20,000/mcL.

B. Has patient experienced head trauma? Intracranial hemorrhage is unusual but can occur with platelet counts < 20,000/mcL.

C. Is patient febrile? Presence of fever increases risk of thrombocytopenia due to significant infection or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

D. Has patient recently received chemotherapy? Chemotherapy is a frequent cause of thrombocytopenia.

E. Is there a past history of low platelet count? This could be consistent with chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or an inherited thrombocytopenia.

F. Does patient take any medication? Thrombocytopenia is often seen in patients who take valproic acid.

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