As I mentioned yesterday in the White Blood Cell post, today we’ll be talking about my personal favorite cell, the platelet! As an E.T patient, platelets hold a special place in my heart 😉
Platelets, or thrombocytes, are really more like fragments of cells (because they lack a nucleus), as opposed to whole cells like WBCs, or RBCs. Platelets help with clotting in the body. When you are injured, platelets rush to the site of injury and form a clot. Preventing excessive bleeding but at the same time, the platelets also secrete chemicals that promote nearby fibroblasts (collagen forming cells) from other tissues to the wound site. This tells the wound to either heal correctly, or to form a scar.
Like all blood cells, a proper number of cells does need to be maintained. Too few platelets can lead to excessive bleeding. Too many platelets can lead to myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, stoke or headaches. Luckily there are treatments for both issues, but we will talk about those more later this month!
Tomorrow we will be talking about bone marrow. So stay tuned!