Platelets are very small cells that are an important part of the clotting process to stop bleeding. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets along with Von Willebrand factor go to the damaged area to form a plug to stop the bleeding. When the platelets are actively forming a blood clot, they send out a chemical that calls for other platelets to help form a plug.
The normal amount of platelets in a person’s body is between 150,000 and 350,000. When an individual has less than the normal amount of platelets, they have a platelet disorder called thrombocytopenia, and it is important that consultation with a hematologist be done to figure out why the platelet number is low.
Sometimes, a patient can have a normal number of platelets, but the platelets don’t work well – these are called Platelet Function Disorders, or sometimes just Platelet Disorders.
Platelet Function Disorders are divided into 3 categories:
- Adhesion Disorders
- Aggregation Disorders
- Secretion Disorders