Bleeding time is a laboratory test to measure the time required by the platelets to stop bleeding from the small blood vessels. This test is used to determine the body’s ability to form a clot and screen for any platelet dysfunction.
Why is this test performed?
This test is performed:
To assess the platelet function in the body
To screen for platelet dysfunction
To help in diagnosing bleeding problems.
A blood pressure cuff is inflated around the upper arm of the patient
The site on forearm is cleaned with alcohol swab
An incision is made deep enough to cause a tiny amount of bleeding
The blood pressure cuff is deflated
A blotting paper is touched to the bleeding site every 30 seconds until the bleeding stops, showing the time required to stop the bleeding.
How to prepare for this test?
Avoid Aspirin, alcohol, and NSAIDs at least 7 days prior to the test
Wear a short-sleeved shirt.
What does it mean if I have a bleeding time over 9 minutes?
If your bleeding time is in the range of 9-15 minutes, it may indicate a platelet dysfunction.
Which medicine may interfere with bleeding time?
Following medicines may cause abnormal bleeding time:
What are the risks of this procedure?
This procedure is safe. However, there is a slight risk of infection and pain at the incision site.
How will this test feel?
Most people just feel a tiny scratch on the skin with slight pain during the incision. The incision is very shallow that allows only a tiny amount of bleeding.
Normal bleeding time: 1-9 minutes
Interpretation of test results:
You should get tested:
If you are experiencing prolonged bleeding
To diagnose platelet dysfunction in the body
To diagnose if your bone marrow is producing fewer amounts of platelets