The most common use of a platelet count is to monitor or diagnose conditions that cause excessive bleeding or clotting. A complete blood count, which is commonly performed as part of a routine checkup, may include a platelet count.
Platelet function tests can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Assist in the diagnosis of certain platelet diseases
- During complex surgical procedures such as cardiac bypass and trauma surgery, platelet function should be checked. The risk of bleeding is higher with these procedures.
- Patients with a personal or family history of bleeding disorders should be checked before surgery.
- People who take blood thinners should be closely monitored. These drugs may be used to prevent clotting in people who are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.