Social Security Disability and Thrombocytopenia
Cuts, scrapes, bumps, and bruises are a part of everyday life. But for some individuals, a cut or bruise can be life threatening due to thrombocytopenia, a low blood platelet count, and their blood does not clot well.
The main symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:
Easy or excessive bruising;
Superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots; (petechiae), usually on the lower legs;
Prolonged bleeding from cuts;
Spontaneous bleeding from the gums or nose;
Blood in urine or stools;
Unusually heavy menstrual flows; and
Profuse bleeding during surgery or after dental work.
“Thrombocytopenia often occurs as a result of a separate disorder, such as leukemia or an immune system problem, or as a medication side effect.” An enlarged spleen could hold onto platelets, “causing a decrease in the number of platelets in circulation.” There are conditions that can “cause the body to use up or destroy platelets more rapidly than they are produced.” Some of these conditions include pregnancy, autoimmune diseases, or a bacterial infection in the blood. Some individuals have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura where their immune system attacks and destroys platelets.
The most direct test to determine if an individual has thrombocytopenia is a blood test. “Normal blood contains 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter. If a complete blood count finds an individual has fewer than 150,000 platelets, that individual has thrombocytopenia.” A doctor may also perform a physical exam for signs of bleeding, petechiae on the legs, signs of bruising, and an enlarged spleen.
“Many cases of mild thrombocytopenia may not require treatment. For instance, mild thrombocytopenia in pregnant women usually improves soon after childbirth.” For more severe cases, the main treatment is to treat the underlying cause of the thrombocytopenia. If a specific disease or condition is causing the thrombocytopenia, then treating that disease or condition can lessen or resolve the thrombocytopenia. “If platelet levels become too low, a doctor can replace lost blood with transfusions of packed red blood cells or platelets.”
If an individual suffers from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, then a doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid to “block the antibodies that attack platelets.” If such drugs do not work, then it may become necessary to have surgery to remove the spleen or use “stronger medications to suppress the individual's immune system.”
Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration does not differentiate between the causes of thrombocytopenia, just that it is a chronic condition. If an individual applies for Social Security Disability (SSD), their medical records must show repeated blood tests with a platelet count below 40,000 platelets per cubic millimeter and “at least one spontaneous hemorrhage, requiring a transfusion, within 5 months prior to adjudication.”
While your doctor assists you to stay healthy of body, let our experienced attorney assist you to have peace of mind. With all the documentation required when applying for SSD, let us track the details for you.