The healing properties of blood

When we talk about the healing properties of blood, the first thing that comes to mind is the phenomenon of clotting. But this is something that happens naturally in our body. We don’t have to command our body to start healing a wound. What if we could though? What if we could guide platelets, which are the essential things for healing, to a wound and help in the healing process? Here, an opportunity for PRP treatment is created.

With the research and development that has been done on the same, we can now claim that it is finally possible. The treatment process is called PRP treatment, where the PRP stands for Plasma Rich Platelets.

So what is it?

Plasma Rich Platelets is a concentrated solution that is rich in plasma and it is prepared from blood. This much is obvious just from the name. Additionally, the solution has been treated or more correctly centrifuged to remove the blood red cells. Being a concentrated solution derived from blood, it has all the growth factors present in blood, only at a much higher concentration. This aids in a brisker healing process. Coming to the process, treatment involves injecting the above solution at the site of a wound.

What makes the clock tick?

What exactly makes the injection of platelets so helpful in healing? To answer this, we look at the exact thing that the treatment is based on, platelets. Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are a component of blood which is responsible for blood coagulation along with help from some other components like coagulation factors. They find their origins in the bone marrow and are cytoplasmic in composition. They appearance is that of a lens shaped cell without a nucleus. They contain several useful components such as ADP, serotonin, ATP and alpha granules. The alpha granules in particular are the structures that store the growth factors and the coagulation factors. They work on the lines of 3 processes – inflammation, proliferation and alteration. It is the regenerative properties of the growth factors that act as the foundation for PRP treatment. For people who find pleasure in reading medical jargon, the whole process from initiation of angiogenesis to rejuvenating myocytes for production enhancement and migration of the mesenchymal cells to the site of damage and consequent repair of the target tissue is all the responsibility of the growth factors. The timeline for the process is not fixed but under usual circumstances, the growth factors take about 3 days to get released in the inflammation stage and in the proliferation stage, it takes about several weeks for the fibroblasts to round the target area.

Where can this be put into use?

The first cases of PRP treatment have been recorded as early as the early 70s. But it was not until 1987 that it was applied in a surgical procedure. The first application was in an open heart surgery, whose subsequent success led to PRP being applied by other companies as well. The modern applications are varied with uses in fields of ENT, ophthalmology, orthopedics and cosmetic surgery. The FDA has approved the use of PRP in other applications in the field of orthopedic surgery. Other specialist applications of the therapy include Cartilaginous Application, knee osteoarthritis, Spinal Application, Ligament & Tendon Application, chronic elbow ligament and tendon dysfunction, PRP application to other ligaments like iliolumbar, posterior sacroiliac, etc. and Cosmetic Application.

Is it related to the Vampire theray?

Recent paparazzi claims that a particular Kardashian and Bar Rafaeli underwent a particular medical treatment to counteract aging might ring some bells in the minds of the reader. The advancements in anti-again have made PRP a high demand method for the skin rejuvenation. Following the news of celebrities undergoing the treatment, there was a 9-fold increase in demand for the procedure. It is so popular and effective that this technique is being used for baldness and to stimulate hair growth.

Why isn’t this the most important advancement in medical history?

The major reason for the misperception among the patients is that they do not fully comprehend the process of PRP. The ways PRP is being used, including the solution preparation, injection of PRP, even the type of injury that’s being treated are all factors that need to be taken into consideration before beginning a treatment plan. All this may prove to be a bit too much to handle for the common man. There are not many treatment restrictions with the only category of patients unable to receive the treatment being those suffering from thrombocytopenia.

The process of extraction of platelets is also relatively convenient and simple and with the speedy recovery feature that it offers, it is high demand procedure right now. With better treatment plans and insurance coverages, this is set to be the golden standard for treatment of joint problems. And above all, it is as safe as it can get.

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