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Bleeding Time (BT)

Also known as: Bleeding Time

Why should I do it?
Bleeding time is a blood test that looks at how fast small blood vessels in the skin close to stop you from bleeding.

When should I do it?
When you have longer-than-normal bleeding time such as a blood vessel defect, Platelet aggregation defect, Thrombocytopenia, Acquired platelet function defect, Congenital platelet function defects, Primary thrombocythemia, Von Willebrand's disease

What Kind of Sample is Needed?
A blood pressure cuff is inflated around your upper arm. While the cuff is on your arm, the health care provider makes two small cuts on the lower arm. They are just deep enough to cause a tiny amount of bleeding.
The blood pressure cuff is immediately deflated. Blotting paper is touched to the cuts every 30 seconds until the bleeding stops. The health care provider records the time it takes for the cuts to stop bleeding.

Test Preparation Needed?
Certain medications may change the test results. Always tell your doctor what medications you are taking, even over-the-counter drugs. Drugs that may increase bleeding times include dextran, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and salicylates (including aspirin).
Your doctor may tell you to stop taking certain medicines a few days before the test. Never stop taking medicine without first talking to your doctor.