Know All About The Platelet Count Test Procedure

Platelets are tiny, disc-shaped cell pieces found in the spleen and blood. They are commonly referred to as blood platelets. The platelets are pieces of large cells that are found in the bone marrow. Blood platelets are very important for the proper functioning of the human body. They are responsible for forming blood clots in case of bleeding and helping wounds.

Normally when we get hurt or get a cut, we notice bleeding. This bleeding, if not stopped, can lead to excessive blood loss. A human body normally has 1,50,000 to 4,50,000 blood platelets. The number of platelets that a person has in their blood is called the platelet count.

A lab test is required to determine the platelet count in the human body. The blood platelets need to be present in numbers considered normal. Both high and low numbers of platelets are dangerous for the human body.

When the platelet count is higher than normal, it is called thrombocytosis. This is when the number of platelets in the blood is higher than 4,50,000. When the number of platelets is lower than 1,50,000, this condition is known as thrombocytopenia.

Since blood platelets play a crucial role in the human body, it is important that they remain present in the normal range. Having higher as well as lower platelet counts can be dangerous in their own ways.

What happens when the platelet count is higher or lower than normal?

  • In case of higher- some people think that having a higher number of platelets in the blood provides them extra protection in case of bleeding. But it is not so. The simple logic behind this is that bleeding and cuts are not normal. We bleed only when we get a bruise or a cut. However, if the platelet counties are always higher than normal, then this will lead to blood clots getting developed spontaneously. Unnecessary clotting can be dangerous.
  • In the case of lower- when the number of platelets is lower than normal, it leads to profuse bleeding. Excessive bleeding can cause blood loss, leading to weakness, unconsciousness, and even death if the bleeding doesn’t stop.

How can we determine the platelet count?

Doctors usually suggest CBC or complete blood count when your blood cells are in question. CBC is an umbrella term and refers to a few tests that are focused on specific cell types in the blood.

Under CBC, a common test advised by doctors is the MPV blood test. Here MPV stands for Mean Platelet Volume. As the name suggests, this test’s aim is to read and record the average size of your blood platelets.

The MPV blood test is not the same as the platelet count test. Many patients or people undergoing routine checkups often confuse the two and use the two terms interchangeably.

The name of the platelet count test itself explicitly states the purpose of this test. The difference between an MPV blood test and a platelet count test is that the former test aims to count the number of platelets present in the blood of the person, whereas the latter measures the average size of the blood platelets.

Depending on your condition, the doctor will advise you to get a platelet count test or an MPV blood test.

Platelet Count

What is the procedure of the platelet count test?

If you have been advised to take a platelet count test and you are wondering what to expect before, during, and after a platelet count test, give this article a read.

The procedure of a platelet count test is simple and non-invasive.

  1. Platelet count tests are usually conducted on a blood sample collected from the person.
  2. For the sample collection, you can either have a lab technician visit your home or personally visit a lab. In either case, the technician will make you stretch your arm straight.
  3. He or she will then try to find a clearly visible nerve to obtain the sample from. This is usually near the forearm.
  4. Once the nerve has been located, the technician will tie a rubber tube around your arm to make the nerve appear more clearly.
  5. Next, the technician will rub alcohol on your arm and wait for a few seconds for your skin to absorb it.
  6. The technician will then slowly insert the needle into your skin. People who are afraid of injections might find this step disturbing, but the prick will feel like an ant bite. Don’t panic, don’t move your hand because it might lead to the needle pricking here and there. You might hurt yourself or those around you.
  7. The technician will have a small tube-like container attached to the needle for collecting the blood. He or she will wait for the sample to be collected.
  8. When the tube is full, the technician will slowly take the needle out. Remember to stay calm during this process as well. Taking out the needle won’t hurt at all so you have nothing to be afraid of.
  9. Once the needle is taken out, the technician will cover the prick point with cotton.
  10. You will be asked to fold your arm to avoid the cotton from moving. Some people tend to get dizzy so the technician may ask you to stay seated for 5 minutes.

With this, your contribution to the platelet count test is over. The lab will then send your blood sample for testing. The platelet count test is quite simple to perform and does not require any special preparations.

The procedure for the MPV blood test is the same. Stay calm during the process and let the technician do their job and it will be easier than you think.

Also Read: Facts about Diabetes Management

Copyright: © Ruchi Verma

Disclaimer – This article is an advisory piece. Before you manipulate your diet habit and health-related changes kindly consult a medical practitioner or nutritionist.

Copyright: © Ruchi Verma

Disclaimer – This article is an advisory piece. Before you manipulate your diet habit and health-related changes kindly consult a medical practitioner or nutritionist.

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Ruchi Verma

Certified parenting teen practitioner, multiple Award winner, mother of two active kids believes in sharing the right source of information to readers which could help them in every possible way!!

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12 Comments

  1. Such an informative post. platelet count test is one of the most important blood test but not many people know details about the procedure. your post explained all details so well. will help lots of people to be aware about the procedure.

  2. Maintaining the right platelet count is important for the health of the body. This post provides invaluable information about all one needs to know about platelet count tests.

  3. This was an insightful post to know.more.about platelet count and awareness about the test to be taken. I do my CBC regularly

  4. Thanks for raising awareness about this topic. I haven’t read much written on it before except for medical sites and I feel better awareness leads to handling of things in a much better way.

  5. Oh this seems like a very important thing to monitor in case of excessive bleeding. And otherwise also it’s good to keep ourselves monitored so that we know what’s going on in our bodies.

  6. Very informative post, with the kind of life we are living it, is indeed necessary to know the right information on various health aspects. The blood platelet count test is important is must be done only at recognized labs.

  7. I need to monitor my platelets count regularly as I do have high platelets generally, I did not know that higher counts can cause problems too. Thanks for this post and information. I now know about the procedure.

  8. We have to be very careful towards our own and our family’s health. It is very important to know about platelet count test and the detailed procedure.

  9. A platelet count is simple and familiar. Ruchi, you wrote an excellent article to read; if we have been advised to take a platelet count test and are unsure what to expect before, during, and after the test.

  10. This is so informative buddy I had no clue about how this test is done and I sm sure many others won’t know about it either

  11. Recently one of the family members has issues with platelets and that’s when I read a little about this whole procedure. Very glad to read all the other details on the blog written by you. Its imperative that we are aware of such critical procedures and how it impacts us overall.

  12. We have been planning to get the platelet test done for my mother, the post was indeed helpful. The post was indeed quite informative. Thank you for sharing this:)

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