Definition - What does Platelet Count mean?
Platelet count refers to the total number of platelets circulating in the blood. A platelet count is usually incorporated as an adjunct procedure to a complete blood count (CBC) in diagnosing all related blood disorders. Platelets are small cells that derive from bone marrow tissue whose primary function is to form clotting at the site of a damaged vessel. A doctor uses a microscope to observe different blood samples in determining the cumulative platelet count against baseline standards. The usual range falls between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
WorkplaceTesting explains Platelet Count
Platelet count contributes significantly to the healing process following an injury or wound involving a ruptured blood vessel. Platelets have limited viability, remaining in the blood for eight or ten days until being recycled or replenished with new platelet cells. Clotting issues can be attributed to either a deficiency (thrombocytopenia) or excess (thrombocytosis) of platelets circulating in the blood.
A low platelet count disrupts sufficient coagulation causing easy bruising and/or excessive bleeding to occur. A high platelet count can cause complications with excessive clotting occurring at the affected site. This can cause obstruction of normal regulated blood flow leading to heart attack and/or stroke.
In the workplace, employees are sometimes exposed to detrimental chemicals such as benzene that can affect platelets. Benzene toxicity is reported to damage bone marrow tissue, responsible for generating blood cells, in turn, minimizing platelet count levels.