A prothrombin time blood test or PT blood test helps in the measurement of the amount of time taken for the blood plasma to form clots. Prothrombin, one of the many proteins responsible for clotting is also known as Factor II.
Why is a PT Blood Test Ordered?
When a body gets hurt or experiences a cut, blood vessels surrounding the area are ruptured, and blood starts to flow out. In order to stop excess bleeding, the brain signals the platelets to collect around the wounded site and clot the area. The entire process, especially in the case of large wounds, requires a series of 12 plasma proteins or ‘factors’ to act together and make fibrin to seal the area.
However, in the event of the presence of some ailments such as liver disease, vitamin K deficiency, or a bleeding disorder called hemophilia, certain coagulation factors are incorrectly created by the body which cause abnormal clotting. PT blood test, here, is done to check the clotting process and diagnose the existences of irregularities.
How is a PT Test Performed?
PT blood test usually makes as a part of a master health checkup plan. It’s a simple blood test wherein a sample of blood is extracted from one of the veins, typically from the ones located near the elbow back of the arm. The blood sample is collected in a special tube, and it is then sent to the laboratory for testing and analysis.
What do PT Blood Test Results indicate?
According to medical experts, plasma of the blood takes approximately 11 to 13.5 seconds to clot a wounded area provided an individual has not taken any blood thinning medications. PT blood test normal range for a person (not on blood thinning medication) is 0.9 to nearly 1.1. On the other hand, an individual who is on blood-thinning drugs, his/her result will fall between 2 and 3.5.
A deviation from this range is an indication of a bleeding disorder prevailing in the human system. Additionally, if the blood plasma is not clotting a wound in the above-prescribed range, one may:-
- be on a wrong dosage of blood thinning medication
- have a liver disease
- have vitamin K deficiency
- have a bleeding disorder
The test is also ordered to a woman carrying a baby in her womb. PT blood test in pregnancy is considered quite essential as it helps in mapping proper production of the inner lining of the uterus and detecting internal bleedings.