No, diagnosing a platelet function disorder is not simple. A person who thinks he/she has a bleeding problem should see a hematologist who specializes in bleeding disorders at a hemophilia/bleeding disorder treatment centre.
Symptoms of a platelet function disorder are similar to other bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease. Because of this and the fact that there are many different types of platelet function disorders, a doctor will perform a number of tests to find out the exact problem.
A doctor who suspects a platelet function disorder in a patient will take a complete family history. He/she will then do a number of blood tests to find out:
- if the person has a platelet function disorder
- what type of platelet function disorder the person has.
The tests are:
|Bleeding time||This measures the length of time it takes for a simple cut to stop bleeding.|
|Platelet aggregation studies||These measure if there are abnormalities in the way platelets clump together.|
|Von Willebrand Factor studies||These find out if the Von Willebrand Factor protein is working normally and rule out this similar disorder as the cause of the bleeding.|
|Specialized tests||These determine the exact type of platelet function disorder.|
Some of the tests must be done in a specialized laboratory. Therefore, it may be several weeks before test results come back.