Thrombocytopenia in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit

  • Noelle N. SaillantEmail author
  • Carrie A. SimsEmail author


Thrombocytopenia is the most prevalent hematologic disorder in the ICU. Defined as a as a platelet count ≤150 × 109/L, thrombocytopenia is observed in 30–50 % of critically ill patients [1]. The consequences of thrombocytopenia range from a mild, asymptomatic phenomenon to microvascular failure. A drop in platelet count by >30 % is an independent risk factor for death and a stronger predictor of mortality than the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score [2, 3]. Multiple etiologies may contribute to a low platelet count. This chapter will specifically review the diagnosis and management of thrombocytopenia in the surgical ICU patient.


Thrombocytopenia Coagulopathy Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Emergency Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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