Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Start by seeing your primary care doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. Most cases of thrombocytopenia can be managed by your doctor. In certain situations, he or she may recommend that you see a specialist in blood diseases (hematologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • List the warning signs you've noticed, such as any unusual bruising or bleeding or any rashes. Include any signs that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • List key personal information, including any recent illnesses or medical procedures such as a blood transfusion, major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
  • Take along a family member or friend. It can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. The person who accompanies you may remember something that you forgot or missed.
  • List questions to ask your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important, in case time runs out.

For thrombocytopenia, some questions you may want to ask include:

  • How many platelets do I have in my blood?
  • Is my platelet count dangerously low?
  • What is causing my thrombocytopenia?
  • Do I need more tests?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What will happen if I do nothing?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatments you're suggesting?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me?
  • What websites do you recommend?
March 31, 2015