A platelet count is a blood test that measures the amount of platelets in the blood. Platelets are essential for blood clotting. Bleeding occurs when one of the blood vessels is injured. The platelets will clot (clump together) to plug the blood vessel hole and stop the bleeding. A healthy adult's platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
A low platelet count, also known as thrombocytopenia, can be caused by a number of underlying medical disorders, such as anemia,bone marrow illnesses, viral infections, or certain medications. A high platelet count, also called thrombocytosis, can indicate underlying medical conditions such as cancer,inflammation, or liver disease.
It's important to remember that a single platelet count test may not provide an accurate picture of a person's health. Further testing and examination may be required to discover the cause of an abnormal platelet count.