At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To diagnose a bleeding disorder or a bone marrow disease
When to Get Tested?
As part of a full blood count (FBC) or to diagnose or monitor a bone marrow or blood disease
A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
Platelets are tiny fragments of cells made in the bone marrow and circulate in the blood. Because they are very sticky, they are the first components to be activated when there has been an injury to a blood vessel and begin the formation of a "blood clot". The platelet count is a test that determines the number of platelets in your blood.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is taken though a needle placed in a vein in the arm.
NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.
Ask a Laboratory Scientist
NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.