Platelets are tiny components in blood that initiate blood clots. Platelets become stimulated when they encounter a damaged blood vessel, and flock to the site. The platelets clump together and form a plug, which reduces bleeding. Platelets also release substances that start the chemical reaction of blood clot formation. Most heart attacks and strokes result from the sudden formation of a blood clot on a waxy cholesterol plaque inside an artery in the heart or brain. When the plaque ruptures suddenly, thrombogenic substances inside the plaque are exposed to blood, triggering the blood clotting process.
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Last date updated on September, 2014