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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Normal Peripheral Blood Cells. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Platelet Function

Platelets function both mechanically and biochemically in the process of hemostasis. When injury to a blood vessel occurs, platelets aggregate, forming a primary hemostatic plug, which helps to stop the flow of blood.
Platelets also release certain substances, among them serotonin. Serotonin causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict, thereby further stopping the flow of blood.
Platelets also can have a membrane bound substance called Platelet Factor 3 (PF3). PF3 catalyzes the coagulation reaction, which results in the formation of a fibrin clot. Platelets also maintain the integrity (leak-free) state of blood vessels.