Feature image from JCWILSON Archive
Platelets. We have heard that word a thousand times. We know what they are and we know what they do. Right? Platelets are just those tiny little things that float around in your blood that magically ‘plug up’ leaks when you need them. Wrong. Here’s the whole story, about how platelets are made, what they actually do and how they go about doing it.
What is a Normal platelet count?
A ‘Normal’ platelet count has a very wide range. Anywhere between 150 and 450 billion platelets per litre of blood is considered normal. Men and women often differ slightly in ‘normal’ ranges, but not consistently enough for it to be documented. Any higher than 450 billion platelets and you are in trouble. Any lower than 150 billion platelets and you have a very different set of problems.
Where do platelets come from?
Platelets are created by a larger cell in the body called a Megakarycytes. Pictured. No, I have never said that word out aloud. Megakaryocytes are created from steam cells in the bone marrow.
As a MEGAKARYOCYTES matures it begins to fragment into platelets that are released into the blood. This fragmentation of the megakaryocytes is very important because it is triggered by the hormone THROMBOPOIETIN. Continue reading