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

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Primary Hemostasis: Platelet Function

Platelets have four primary functions:

    1. Maintain vascular integrity-- Platelets contain chemicals within their granules that are vital to the normal growth and maintenance of the vascular system.
    2. Form a platelet plug-- Platelets are the fundamental components of the physical barrier that initially fills the breach in the compromised vessel.
    3. Provide the surface for creation of fibrin-- Fibrin strands, created during secondary hemostsis will weave in amongst the bound platelets that make up the platelet plug, solidifying the structure and creating a fibrin clot
    4. Stimulate healing of the damaged tissues-- Platelet growth factors actually stimulate the production of new cells to replace those that were damaged, particularly smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts.