Platelet Count

Platelet Count is a topic covered in the Davis's Lab & Diagnostic Tests.

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Synonym/Acronym:
Thrombocytes.

Rationale
To assist in diagnosing and evaluating treatment for blood disorders such as thrombocytosis and thrombocytopenia and to evaluate preprocedure or preoperative coagulation status.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, activity, or medication restrictions unless by medical direction.

Normal Findings
Method: Automated, computerized, multichannel analyzers.

AgePlatelet Count*SI Units (Conventional Units × 1)MPV (fL)IPF (%)
Birth150–450 × 103/microL150–450 × 109/L7.1–10.21.1–7.1
Child, adult, older adult140–400 × 103/microL140–400 × 109/L7.1–10.21.1–7.1
Note: Platelet counts may decrease slightly with age.*Conventional units.MPV = mean platelet volume.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

  • Less than 30 × 103/microL (SI: Less than 30 × 109/L)
  • Greater than 1,000 × 103/microL (SI: Greater than 1,000 × 109/L)

Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

Consideration may be given to verifying the critical findings before action is taken. Policies vary among facilities and may include requesting immediate recollection and retesting by the laboratory.

Critically low platelet counts can lead to brain bleeds or gastrointestinal hemorrhage, which can be fatal. Some signs and symptoms of decreased platelet count include spontaneous nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums, bruising easily, prolonged bleeding from minor cuts and scrapes, and bloody stool. Possible interventions for decreased platelet count may include transfusion of platelets or changes in anticoagulant therapy.

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