Learning More about Platelet Disorders

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Beyond Blood

Platelets are the cells in your blood that help you plug holes in your blood vessels and stop bleeding. Some patients may have platelets that don’t work well or may have too few platelets. Together, these types of bleeding disorders are called platelet disorders. Platelet disorders are an underrecognized cause of bleeding in patients with inherited causes of bleeding. As a result, they are poorly understood and have only recently become the focus of research efforts.

As a hematologist in the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center at Children’s Hospital, I am studying the platelets of patients with platelet disorders in order to better understand what happens when they don’t work well and, more importantly, to develop better tests for diagnosing platelet disorders.

Through the Platelet Disorder Registry, I am cataloging information about symptoms (either related to bleeding or other systems) and about the platelets of patients using new techniques in the laboratory. Hopefully, these new techniques will soon be available in the clinic to help streamline diagnosis of platelet disorders.

To participate, a blood sample is collected on the day of a regular blood draw and information is gathered from your medical record. In a related study (BRIDGE), I am working with doctors in the United Kingdom to get information about all of the genes in patients with platelet disorders and learn more about the genetic causes of these disorders since they are still very poorly understood.

If you would like more information about the Platelet Disorder Registry or the BRIDGE study, please contact me at 215-590-4667 or lambertm@email.chop.edu.