Antibodies produced during dengue lead to massive destruction of platelets: Doctor

In the normal human body, the platelet count in dengue ranges from 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh.

Dr Vikas Bhutani, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital. answers some vital aspects about platelet count in dengue and who can donate platelets.

In dengue, there is a drop in platelet count. Why does this happen?

In dengue, the drop in platelet count is because of the following reasons:

# Platelet count in dengue decreases as it suppresses bone marrow, which is the platelet-producing area.
# Platelet count in dengue decreases because of blood cells affected by the disease.
# Antibodies that are produced during this period lead to massive destruction of platelets in dengue.

What is a normal platelet count in a body?

In the normal human body, the platelet count in dengue ranges from 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh.

How does a drop in platelet count in cases of dengue manifest? What are the complications?

Patient can be asymptomatic or may have bleeding manifestations, such as:

# Bleeding from gums or nose
# Blood in urine, stools or vomit
# Bleeding under the skin, which might look like bruising
# Major internal organ bleeds in few cases

When is a platelet transfusion required?

In cases where platelets drop to below 10,000, platelet transfusion is required but in case of bleeding manifestations, platelet transfusions can even be given at more than the cut-off value of 10,000 too.

There are many requests for donation of platelets. Who can donate platelets? And what are the key points to be kept in mind, considering platelets last only for five days?

Donor eligibility criteria are the same for both platelet and whole blood donors. Any healthy adult who clears the screening process of the blood bank for platelet donation can donate the platelets. Do eat a regular meal and drink plenty of fluids one to two hours before donating platelets. Do not take aspirin or products containing aspirin for at least 72 hours before platelet donation.

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Any reflections on the current dengue cases?

We are seeing an alarmingly increasing number of dengue cases this season.

Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquitoes within the genus Aedes. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle, and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. There are four types of dengue strains, and type II and IV are considered to be more severe and normally require hospitalisation. According to experts, the aedes mosquito breeds in clean stagnant water. Meanwhile, cases of malaria, chikungunya and viral fever are also rampant during monsoon.

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