How do platelets play a role in Thrombosis

Sunday, 2/10/2016

What are platelets?
Ever wondered how you suddenly stop bleeding after a while when you’re injured or bruised? A gooey red substance covers your cut and the blood eventually stops gushing out from your skin. Well, this gooey red substance is formed all thanks to a tiny little cell that runs in your blood and save you the pain of stitches. This tiny little cell is called a platelet.

Platelets are tiny cells present in your blood that clot your blood whenever there is a rupture in your veins. On realising damage, the platelets are directed to the bruised area and they thicken the blood making it eventually clot it and avoid any further loss of blood. If not for these tiny helpful cells, we’d be bleeding out a lot of blood with a tiny cut.

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What is Thrombosis?
Thrombosis is a condition where the platelets start forming a blood clot inside a blood vessel which obstructs the blood flow and thus creates issues with blood circulation. Now as we know that platelets
come to rescue when there is damage to the blood vessel, but at times these platelets start clogging the blood vessel under certain conditions. Thrombosis could be a matter of great concern as if the
thrombus (blood clot) is fairly large in size it might cut off complete oxygen to a particular part resulting into a condition called anoxia which later results into tissue death.
Reasons this may happen to you:
Hypercoagulability (thrombophilia)
As the name suggested, Thrombophilia is related to thrombus affinity. This generally occurs due to genetic deficiencies or due to auto-immune disorders.
Endothelial cell injury
Now, at times due to trauma, infection, surgery or sudden turbulent flow of blood cause injury to theinside of blood vessel.
Disturbed blood flow
After injury, or after a long time of sedentary work, the blood might get stagnated resulting into disturbed blood flow. Also other reasons can be cancer cells which obstruct the blood’s path and may trigger the coagulation system resulting into heavy amount of platelets making thrombus. Leukemia, certain solid tumours or compression of blood vessels may result into a similar outcome.

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Role of platelets:

Platelets aggregates, stabilised when fibrin create clots or plugs when your blood vessel is damaged. Whenever one of the given causes creates an internal plug, the blood flow is obstructed. If the thrombus continues creating an obstruction to the blood flow, this may result into more platelet redirection which would develop the thrombus resulting into a larger clot. This may also be a major issue if you face from Thrombocythemia or Thrombocytosis both resulting into excess production of platelet cells as these cells are now abundant in number and on a minor disturbance in blood flow, the repair cells flow out in excess resulting into clot in the blood of that particular area. As it continues blocking in the blood flow, the blood pressure might increase and upon complete blockage of the blood vessel, a lot of organs may be devoid of oxygen resulting into failure of that organ or numbness in that region as the tissue in there starts degenerating due to lack of oxygen.

Therefore, Platelets play an important role in Thrombosis as they are the main cells along with fibrin that run around the haemostatic plugs which decide the clots, the major reason for Thrombosis.