Heart & Blood Conditions

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Conditions


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE INHERITED PLATELET DISORDERS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What are inherited platelet disorders?

Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are cell-like entities that circulate in the blood and are necessary to the process of blood clot formation to stop bleeding. They work with various proteins, called clotting factors, or coagulation factors, that are present in the blood or along the wall of blood vessels. In the process of clot formation, platelets aggregate, or stick together, to form a kind of plug to help with blood vessel healing. Platelet function depends on the presence of certain proteins on the surface of the membrane that surrounds the platelet, which help attach the membrane to other platelets and to certain clotting factors made outside the platelet, and also on packets (granules) of chemicals that are stored inside the platelet and are released during the clotting process. Manufacture of the granules and their contents, and platelet surface proteins all depend on genes that you inherit from your parents. Consequently, they are vulnerable to abnormalities in the genetic information, which can result in problems in the body’s ability to form clots, problems that in some cases can be made worse by changes that occur during pregnancy.


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