After vascular injury and exposure of subendothelial matrix proteins to the intravascular space, mediators of hemostasis are triggered and allow for clot formation and restoration of vascular integrity. Platelets are the mediators of primary hemostasis, creating a platelet plug and allowing for initial cessation of bleeding. Platelet disorders, qualitative and quantitative, may result in bleeding signs and symptoms, particularly mucocutaneous bleeding such as epistaxis, bruising, petechiae, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Increasing evidence suggests that platelets have functional capabilities beyond hemostasis, but this review focuses solely on platelet hemostatic properties. Herein, normal platelet function as well as the effects of abnormal function and thrombocytopenia are reviewed.

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