By: staff
What you don’t know can threaten your life. That’s the practice philosophy of the clinical staff of the Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of WNY. Platelet disorders are the most frequently requested test conducted at the Lab. Physicians are becoming increasingly aware of the value of the services provided at the comprehensive and advanced Lab in Buffalo due to state of the art equipment and a staff with more than 30 years of coagulation experience.

Imagine a child experiencing excessive and prolonged bruising that doesn’t heal. Is it child abuse or a hidden bleeding disorder? A blood test at the Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab can tell. Before Child Protective Services is called in, parents have a local testing option. “We have dedicated our service to physicians and hospitals to provide the fastest turnaround of blood diagnostics and the most comprehensive testing and treatment for all bleeding and clotting disorders to help guide the physician’s treatment or surgical plan. What too many physicians still do not realize is that other facilities, including national commercial labs cannot offer comprehensive platelet function testing such as this because of specimen stability. Losing valuable time is not a plan, it is a risk no family member needs to take,” stated Lynne Hoernig, Lab Manager at the Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of WNY.

Platelets are small parts of blood cells made by bone marrow. Platelets help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots. Problems result from having too few or too many platelets, and from dysfunctional platelets. With a low number of platelets, an individual can be at risk for mild to serious bleeding. Too many platelets mean a higher risk of blood clots.

The signs and symptoms are disease-specific and can be detected prior to an accident or unexpected surgery. Common platelet disorders and their signs and symptoms include:
Von Willebrand disease
•Easy bruising, nose bleeds, heavy menstrual periods Bernard-Soulier syndrome

•Mild bleeding from mouth, gums, or nose

•Heavy bleeding after surgery or injury

•Blood in vomit or stool

•Heavy bleeding with menstrual periods or after giving birth Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia

•Bleeding from gums or mouth, especially after dental work

•Repeated nose bleeds

•Heavy menstrual periods

•Blood in urine

•Small bruises or purplish spots under the skin

•Difficulty stopping bleeding after an injury, cut, or surgery

•Bleeding into a joint like the elbow or knee (rare symptom)Platelet storage pool deficiency

•Bleeding from the gums or mouth, especially after dental work

•Repeated nose bleeds

•Heavy menstrual bleeding

•Difficulty stopping bleeding after surgery, injury, or a cut Thrombocytopenia

•Bruising more easily than normal

•Tiny red- or blue-colored dots under the skin

•Bleeding from the gums, skin, or nose

•Heavy menstrual periods

•Blood in the urine

•In severe cases, heavy bleeding can be life threatening

There are four types of platelet disorders:
1. Adhesion disorders, such as von Willebrand disease and Bernard-Soulier syndrome. Bernard-Soulier syndrome is also called giant platelet syndrome because the platelets are larger than normal.

2. Aggregation disorders, such as Glanzmann’sthrombasthenia

3. Secretion disorders, such as platelet storage pool deficiency (rare and inherited)
4. A decreased number of platelets, also called thrombocytopenia

The Hemostasis Thrombosis Lab of Western New York is a not for profit service of the Hemophilia Center of Western New York. As a not for profit, the organization places no cap on the amount of services they will provide patients at their location. Referrals are accepted from the eight counties of the region and beyond. For more information, visit Appointments are immediately available

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