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    What is a Platelet Count Test?

    A Platelet Test at home counts the number of platelets, also known as thrombocytes, in the blood. They appear like small plates when seen under a microscope; hence the name. These small blood cells are crucial for blood clotting, the process that stops bleeding after an injury by forming clots. Doctors may request a Platelet Test during routine physical examinations or if there is a suspicion of conditions such as thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count) or thrombocytosis (a high platelet count). The primary purpose of a Platelet Test is to monitor or diagnose disorders associated with excessive bleeding or clotting. This test is often part of a complete blood count, a common component of regular medical checkups. Additionally, this test aids in assessing platelet function during complex surgeries like cardiac bypass which carries a higher risk of bleeding and evaluates patients with a personal or family history of bleeding disorders before surgery. This test is also used to monitor individuals on blood-thinning medications, which are prescribed to reduce clotting in those at risk for heart attacks or strokes. Platelet count testing is also required for patients suffering from dengue. During dengue infection, platelet counts often drop due to the virus's attack. Hence, regular Platelet Count test in individuals with Dengue can predict and track recovery from dengue fever (DF), dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), and guide treatment decisions.

    Platelet Count Test Parameters

    Platelets play a vital role in stopping bleeding after injuries. These are the smallest blood cells and can only be observed under a microscope. In their inactive state, platelets have a small, plate-like shape. During an injury, when a blood vessel is damaged, blood vessels emit a signal that activates the platelets. In response, platelets travel to the damaged area and transform into their active form (resembling a spider). They aggregate at the wound site, forming a plug that seals blood vessels, thereby avoiding further blood loss. This is an extremely important function that platelets serve as without such a plug of platelets, blood loss may continue till a person becomes critical even from minor injuries!

    The quantity of platelets in the blood is the sole parameter that the Platelet Count test evaluates.

    Platelet Count Test Preparation

    Given below is an overview of the test's preparation:

    Fasting is not required for the Platelet Test.

    The Platelet Test can be done at any time of the day.

    Anyone showing symptoms of excess platelets, such as numbness in the hands and feet, or a deficiency of platelets, such as bleeding for a long time after minor cuts can take this test. A Platelet Test is also necessary for those scheduled to undergo complex surgical procedures or are using medication to reduce blood clotting.

    No special cautions are needed before taking a Platelet Test.

    Why Take a Platelet Count Test?

    A Platelet Count in Bangalore test is necessary if symptoms suggest an abnormal (either high or low) number of platelets. The following are common symptoms of a low platelet count:

    • Bleeding for a long time (following minor cuts or injuries)

    • Bleeding from the nose

    • Swollen or bleeding gums

    • Bruises (more frequent than usual)

    • Small red spots on the skin

    • Purple patches on the skin

    • Blood in urine, stool or vomit

    • Longer or heavier than usual menstrual bleeding

    The following are common symptoms of a high platelet count:

    • Headaches

    • Dizziness or lightheadedness

    • General weakness

    • Bruises (that are formed easily)

    • A numbing sensation in the hands and feet

    • Nose, gum and mouth bleeds

    • Stomach or intestinal bleeding

    Platelet Tests may also be necessary for individuals undergoing complex surgeries (like cardiac bypass or trauma surgery) or taking medications (blood thinners) that reduce blood clotting. Furthermore, it might also be used to keep an eye on conditions that result in excessive bleeding or clotting.

    Platelet Count Test Results & Interpretation

    The result of a Platelet Count Blood test is given below:

    Normal range: 150-450 [10^3/µL]

    Low Count

    Reasons for a low platelet count include:

    • Severe bleeding following an injury

    • Bacterial or viral infections

    • Certain medications like antibiotics

    • Drinking excess alcohol

    • Dengue fever

    • Contact with harmful chemicals like arsenic

    • Diseases in which the body attacks its own healthy cells like rheumatoid arthritis

    • Blood disorders like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

    • Genetic disorders such as Von Willebrand disease

    • Blood cancers such as leukaemia

    • Treatment for cancers such as chemotherapy

    A low platelet count could also be due to diminished platelet supply because of conditions like haemolytic uremic syndrome that deplete or destroy platelets. Additionally, the spleen may also sometimes trap platelets, preventing their circulation in the bloodstream.

    High Count

    Reasons for a high platelet count include:

    • Reactive Thrombocytosis

    • An injury

    • Bacterial or viral infections

    • Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis

    • Failure of kidney

    • Undergoing treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency

    • Certain medications like adrenalin

    • Blood disorders like anaemia

    • Spleen removal

    • Certain surgical procedures like abdominal surgery

    • Certain cancers such as breast cancer

    A high platelet count may result from a hereditary disorder caused by a JAK2 gene mutation, leading to the bone marrow's excessive production of platelets, which progressively develops over time.

    FAQs on Platelet Count Test in Bangalore

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