Formal Name: Thrombin Time
What is Bleeding Time?
Bleeding Time test is to determine how fast your blood clots to stop bleeding. For performing this test, the technician will only make a small puncture on the skin. This test is a basic assessment how well the blood platelets work. The blood platelets are tiny fragments that circulate with the blood flow in our whole body. If there’s any puncture in any place, the platelets work quickly to clot the place and thus, save additional blood from escaping the blood vessels.
When to get tested?
Most of the time, patients don’t need to take the test. The doctor may suggest taking the test if you’ve experienced bleeding that doesn’t stop, especially from punctures, cuts or small incisions. Your doctor can choose a number of tests for evaluating your platelet function. This bleeding time test is really common for screening patients with the prolonged bleeding times.
The test procedure
There is no prior preparation necessary for the test. Around the upper arm, a blood pressure cuff will be inflated. While the cuff is on, the healthcare provider will make 2 small cuts on the lower arm. These cuts are just deep enough to cause a tiny amount of bleeding. Then, the technician will remove the blood pressure cuff. Bloating paper will be touched to the cuts every 30 seconds until the bleeding stops. The healthcare provider will note the time required for clotting the blood.
Why are Bleeding Time test done?
This test is useful in diagnosing patients with bleeding problems.
What the test result means
Generally, the time required for bleeding to stop is 1-9 minutes. If there are any abnormalities found in the test, it means you need to be diagnosed with in-depth testing for finding out the cause of your prolonged bleeding. You may have acquired platelet function defect, a condition that develops after birth and impacts the working nature of platelets. Your body may also produce too much or fewer platelets than required, thus causing the abnormal functionality.
Abnormal results could also indicate the following conditions:
- A blood vessel defect which is impacting how well your blood vessels transport blood throughout your entire body.
- A genetic platelet function defect. This issue is present at birth and affects how the platelet functions. For example, hemophilia is such type of issue.
- Primary thrombocythemia is a condition when the bone marrow generates too many platelets than needed.
- Thrombocytopenia is a condition when your body produces too few platelets than needed.
- Von Willebrand’s disease. It’s a hereditary condition and affects the clotting system of the blood.
Anything else I should know?
This test is a part of a series of tests to identify and evaluate a bleeding or thrombotic disorder. In most scenario, people with decreased/dysfunctional fibrinogen will show mild or no symptoms. The only way to discover the abnormality is while performing other tests or another reason.
Those having a genetic disorder often has to go through genetic molecular testing. This helps diagnosing inherited dysfibrinogenemia, afibrinogenemia or hypofibrinogenemia and identify the mutated gene(s).
Always perform this test at a laboratory instead of at the doctor’s office. Bleeding disorder tests require specialized equipment and reagents. So, the nearest laboratory is the best place to perform this test.