Platelets (thrombocytes) are small cells that are in the blood that clump together to form blood clots.  They prevent excessive bleeding and aid in healing of wounds.

These cells normally live about 10 days.  They are replaced via a bone marrow function.

Normal Results:
150,000-400,000 platelets per microliter (mcL)
150-400 platelets using 10^3/uL system of measurement

Low Platelet Counts

Low Platelet Counts (Thrombocytopenia)  will cause your blood to not clot properly.

Results lower than 20,000 (mcL) or 20 (10^3/uL) is really a concern due to uncontrollable bleeding should you sustain an injury.

A low Platelet Count is normally due to a bone marrow disorder, medication side effects, or a combination of both.

Some causes of Low Platelet Counts (Thrombocytopenia)
1. Pregnancy
2. Infection
3. Immune issues
4. Malignant Disease like Lymphoma, Lymphatic, Leukemia
5. Chemo-therapy drugs and Radiation therapy
6. Prescription drugs such as Heparin, Quinine, Sulfa-containing Antibiotics and anticonvulsants.

Physical symptoms of Low Platelet Counts (Thrombocytopenia)
1. Bruises – Red, Purple, or Brown  (Called Purpura)
2. Rash with small red or purple dots (Called Petechiae)
3. Nosebleeds
4. Bleeding Gums

High Platelet Counts

High Platelet Counts (Thrombocythemia or Thrombocytosis) can show up when something triggers the bone marrow to produce excessive amounts of Platelets.
Thrombocythemia is when the cause is unknown
Thrombocytosis refers to when a secondary cause is known

Excessive Platelets can lead to a higher chance of a blood clots.

Some causes of High Platelet Counts
1. Recent Injury
2. Excessive Physical Exertion
3. Vit B12 Deficiency
4. Medications
5. Excessive alcohol drinking
6. Cancer
7. Anemia
8. Inflammatory/Immune issues
9. Infections
10. Splenectomy