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More about platelets

The circulatory system in the humansis very complex. It is made of the heart, the vast network of the blood vesselsand the blood that runs through the blood channels. The blood is made ofdifferent types of cells that are produced by the bone marrow. The red bloodcells, the white blood cells, platelets and blood plasma are the main componentsof the blood.

Platelets are tiny cells that havethe irregular shape. They are produced by the megakaryocytes, which are thecells of the bone marrow. Platelets do not have nucleus and they usually livefor eight to twelve days, and then die and must be replaced with the newplatelets. The main role of the platelets isthe forming of the blood clots when one bleeds.

It is very important to maintain thenormal level of platelets in the blood. In case when the level of plateletsin the blood is too low, excessive bleeding may occur. On the other side, whenthe level of platelets in the blood is too high, the blood clotting may occurwithin a blood vessel and cause the blockage of the blood flow. The blockedblood vessels further lead to the heart disease, such as stroke, heart attackand periphery artery disease. Platelet count test is carried outas a part of the complete blood count.

Normal levels of platelets

The normal levels of platelets inthe blood are considered to range from 150000 to 450000 per μl of blood. Small variationsin this range may not refer to some problem, whereas the drastic variationsfrom the normal platelet count can be even life-threatening. Thrombocytopenia is the medical termfor the low platelet count, while thrombocytosis is the medical term for thehigh platelet count. These two conditions usually cause problems in coagulationof the blood. Thrombocytopathy is the medical term for the disease of the plateletswhen they do not function properly.

However, there are certain conditionsthat cause small variations in the levels of the platelets in the blood, whichare not serious. For example, women tend to have lower than normal level of plateletsbefore the menstruation, while after the child delivery; the levels of platelets are slightly higher than normal. The consummation of child birth control pills, aswell as strenuous activities, may cause a slight raise in the level of platelets.Furthermore, chemotherapy and radiation therapy usually cause low plateletcount. When the levels of the platelets arebelow 50000 or higher than 1000000 per μl, it can be very serious and evenfatal.

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