What is a normal platelet count?
Platelets – the small cells that help stop bleeding and form clots – are a vitally important part of your blood. If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, like a cut, it sends out messages to your platelets. The platelets then bind together to create a clot and stop the bleeding. Some signs of a low platelet count include bruising easily and inordinate bleeding from a small cut.
So just how many platelets should be traveling through your bloodstream?
Average Platelet Count
A normal platelet count is between 150,000 and 400,000 per microliter of blood. Because platelets only live in the body for about 10 days, your bone marrow creates millions of platelets each day.
For women, the average platelet count is between 157,000 and 371,000 per microliter of blood. For men, the average is between 135,000 and 317,000 per microliter of blood.
Abnormal Platelet Count
If your platelet count is higher or lower than normal, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, or it could be a side effect of medication. A platelet count higher than 450,000 per microliter of blood is known as thrombocytosis.
This excess of platelets can cause unnecessary clotting, or even bleeding if the platelets are not functioning properly. A platelet count lower than 150,000 per microliter of blood is known as thrombocytopenia. A count lower than 10,000 is considered severe thrombocytopenia.
When your platelet count gets too low, it can cause dangerous internal bleeding. Learn more about what causes low platelet count on our blog.
Determining Platelet Count
A routine blood test called a complete blood count, or CBC can tell you your platelet count. This panel of tests is often performed as part of a general health examination. It can also be ordered when a person exhibits signs or symptoms associated with a low platelet count, or is suspected of having a high platelet count.
A CBC is usually performed with an automated instrument that counts the number of cells present in your blood sample. If the results are not within the normal limits, other tests may be ordered to help determine the cause.
Platelet donations help cancer, trauma, and cardiac patients when they need it most. Learn more about the power of platelet here. Platelet donors are automatically enrolled in our platelet Rock Star rewards program. Schedule your platelet donation appointment with OneBlood today.