Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are cells contained in the blood whose main function is to act as a coagulant to stop bleeding. These cells have no nucleus, they are derived from megakaryocytes, which are found in the bone marrow, in fragments forms of cytoplasm and then enter the blood.
Platelets are found only in mammals, it is said to be an evolution that minimizes the risk of death in childbirth because of bleeding, as this is a unique risk in mammals. Platelets are the smallest cells contained in our blood and can only be appreciated through a microscope. Their shape resembles a plate when they are inactive, they are activated when they receive the signal from a damaged blood vessel causing them to travel to the affected area, when they reach this area the platelets transform their appearance, to get in contact with the blood vessel damaged, these cells are able to develop a kind of tentacles and take the form of an octopus or a spider.
Through a blood test, a platelet count can be done to determine the amount of these cells in a portion of the blood. In this way you can determine if a patient is healthy, is predisposed to develop any disease, or in the worst case if you already have symptoms that lead to infer that you have a non-normal amount of platelets in the body.
Normal platelet values: A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. If in a patient the platelet count exceeds above this range it is said that he suffers from a condition called thrombocytosis, and if the platelet count is less than 150,000 the patient suffers from a condition called thrombocytopenia. Normally, platelet counts usually appear in routine whole blood tests.
High Platelet Values:
When a patient has a platelet count that exceeds values within the normal range, they are said to suffer from a condition called thrombocytosis, and two types of this medical condition usually occur. Primary thrombocytosis: also called essential thrombocytosis, there is an abnormally high platelet increase by the megakaryocytes contained in the bone marrow, the reason for this fact is currently unknown as it occurs without apparent cause. Secondary thrombocytosis: the same condition of primary thrombocytosis is reflected, with the variation that the origin of the high production of platelets is derived by a condition or disease that affects the organism, being a consequence of this disease such as anemia, cancer, infection or inflammation. Symptoms of thrombocytosis (high platelets) The most obvious symptoms of thrombocytosis are spontaneous clots in the arms and legs, poorly that if left untreated can lead to a heart attack, or stroke. When the case of thrombocytosis or high platelets can not be managed with anticoagulant or platelet antiplatelet treatment, the patient should undergo a procedure called platelet apheresis. In this method the blood platelets are separated and removed by means of a blood withdrawal mechanism where the platelets are separated from the red blood cells and then the red blood cells are returned to the blood back to the body. When a disease causes the onset of thrombocytosis, this condition disappears as the disease of origin is treated and the platelet count goes down.
Low Platelet Values:
When values in the platelet count are below the range of normal values, the patient is said to suffer from a clinical condition called thrombocytopenia. The most visible symptoms of thrombocytopenia include bruising and frequent bleeding from the nose or gingiva. This condition appears when some agent is preventing platelets from occurring normally, some of the causes that produce this condition could be: Medicines. Diseases such as cancer, leukemia or lymphoma. Hereditary conditions. Treatments for diseases such as chemotherapy for cancer. Dysfunction. Kidney infection. Excess alcohol.