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what are platelets

Platelets are the smallest of the 3 major types of blood cells (platelets, red cells, and white cells).  They are made in bone marrow, and make up the smallest percentage of total blood volume.

Platelets are necessary to stop bleeding.  They are "first on the scene" when you are wounded, helping the blood to clot so you can heal properly.

Platelets are actually shaped like tiny plates in their inactive form, and they normally travel freely through blood vessels. When an injury occurs, the platelets are activated - they change shape and become fibrous and sticky in order to form a temporary plug for the injury.  

After a platelet donation, your body is able to replace those platelets within about 24 hours!

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