Platelet Function Testing in any Healthcare Setting.
Platelets are blood cells that are involved in the control of bleeding but, on the other hand, contribute to development of blood clots that can result in heart attacks, stroke and sudden death. Reduced platelet function results in bleeding disorders, and increased platelet function is associated with an increased risk of blood clot formation. People who are at-risk of developing blood clots (such as people who have already experienced a heart attack or a stroke) are treated routinely with “”antiplatelet”” drugs (such as aspirin or clopidogrel) to lower platelet function.
Measurements of platelet function can be useful in diagnosing bleeding problems and also in predicting those at-risk of developing blood clots. Also, measurements of platelet function are useful in monitoring the effectiveness of antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel.
Although there are other approaches to platelet function testing the PSL approach is unique in that testing can be performed in any healthcare setting. Previously, platelet function analysis had to be performed within minutes of taking the blood sample and within walking distance of specialised equipment and technical expertise. PSL newly developed methods allow samples to be processed using simple disposable kits and posted for expert analysis. The only expertise required is someone who can take a blood sample and follow a simple set of instructions supplied with the kit.
Platelet Solutions Ltd is a new spin-out company of the University of Nottingham and is an outcome of many years of research and experience in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the School of Clinical Sciences. The founders are Professor Stan Heptinstall, Dr Sue Fox and Jane May. Publications and awards relevant to the company together with some of the products and services that are on offer can be viewed at www.plateletsolutions.co.uk