M At The Doctor

Blood platelets

Platelets, or thrombocytes, are essential elements of the blood. They play a role in the coagulation of blood, and also in immunity to a certain extent.

Platelets are a family of important cells, next to red blood cells and white blood cells.

Origin and functions of platelets

They are born from the bone marrow, from cells called megakaryocytes. These cells fragment to give rise to platelets that pass into the bloodstream where their life span is very short (7 to 9 days).

Platelets do not have cell nuclei, so they are not really cells. This explains their short life span. They are very small: 2 to 5 microns.

Their normal platelet count in the blood is between 150, 000 and 400, 000 / mm3.

They play a role in coagulation. Thus, in the event of a significant drop in platelets in the blood, the patient may be in great danger of sudden and spontaneous haemorrhage.

Platelet analysis

The measurement of the number of platelets is done systematically when the doctor asks for a blood test (by a simple blood test). We also measure the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and often also the VS, CRP ... and other biochemical components (sugar, cholesterol ...).

This platelet analysis is part of the standard balance sheet. It is important to detect a possible platelet problem, playing a vital role in the blood.

The doctor may also ask for platelet analysis (and a clotting assessment) when certain signs occur, such as spontaneous bleeding, the appearance of dark red spots on the body (purpura).

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Read also :

> Red blood cells (red blood cells)
> White blood cells (leucocytes)
> Blood group: what you need to know

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