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What are Platelets and what Do they Do

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 25, 2017
What are Platelets and what Do they Do

When a blood test indicates that your thrombocyte or platelet count is too high or very low, it can be alarming to think that something might not be right with your health. However, many people do not know exactly what platelets are and what they do, something which is crucial to know when it comes to establishing which diseases you might be prone to and the risks posed by a change in your count levels. At OneHowTo, we will give you all the essentials on this topic.

You may also be interested in: What To Do If I Have A Low Platelet Count
Steps to follow:
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Platelets, or thrombocytes, are one of the elements that make up our blood and they play an extremely important role in the process of coagulation. When there is an open wound, platelets and other substances coagulate at the site and form a temporary barrier, preventing your blood from exiting the body. Therefore, any alteration in their levels can have serious health consequences, affect your performance and alter the blood's capacity to coagulate properly.

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The normal platelet count in the blood of an adult varies between 150,000 and 450,000 per cubic mm. When a blood test shows values less than or in excess of this range, you must immediately go to a specialist, either to your doctor or a haematologist, to find out the reason for this change and the appropriate treatment.

What are Platelets and what Do they Do - Step 2
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A low platelet count may lead to internal bleeding since it will affect the process of blood coagulation. If the count is too high the opposite may happen; clots could form leading to thrombosis, a heart attack or a stroke.

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Diseases such as dengue, aplastic anaemia, thrombocytopenia or leukaemia, or certain treatments like chemotherapy, reduce the amount of platelets. In view of the many risks, you must immediately consult a doctor.

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Certain conditions, such as thrombocytosis or grey platelet syndrome, affect the platelet count by increasing the number of platelets. Just like in the previous case, should your thrombocyte levels change, you must go to see a specialist.

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If you have a low platelet count, certain treatments could help you to raise your levels again. Find out about the treatments in our article how to raise platelet levels and what foods to raise platelet levels.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What are Platelets and what Do they Do, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Tips
  • A change in your platelet count is serious and could compromise your health. That's why you should go immediately to the doctor in order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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