Platelets (see also Thrombocytes)JAMA Active agents of inflammation when damage occurs to a blood vessel. They are not actually cells, but
fragments released by megakaryocyte cells. The megakaryocyte is a large cell in the bone marrow whose
function is to produce platelets. When vascular damage (ie, damage to blood vessels) occurs, the platelets
stick to the vascular walls, forming clots to prevent the loss of blood. Thus, it is important to have
adequate numbers of normally functioning platelets to maintain effective coagulation of the blood. There
are drugs that can potentially alter the platelet count, making it necessary to monitor the count. Also,
some people with HIV infection develop thrombocytopenia (a condition characterized by a platelet count
of less than 100,000 platelets per cubic millimeter of blood). The normal value for men is 154,000 to 354,000 platelets per cubic millimeter of blood. For women, it is 162,000 to 380,000 platelets per cubic
millimeter of blood.
a type of blood cell that facilitates
normal blood clotting.
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