BT & CT Test Susmita Chakrabarty

The BT & CT test, which is short for Bleeding Time and Clotting Time test, is used to check the amount of time taken by your blood to clot in order to stop bleeding. Most people never get this test done, but it is beneficial for those who are battling a case where bleeding, even from a small cut, does not stop. The test involves making small, shallow cuts on your skin to assess how well do your platelets work to clot blood in case of bleeding. Platelets are cell fragments in the blood that are the first to react in case of an injury to the blood vessel by sealing the wound; this helps prevent excess blood loss. Coagulation Disorder, Epistaxis and Platelet Disorder are checked in the test.

Preparation of BT & CT

Before the test, your doctor would want to know about the medications you take. Certain medicines such as aspirin can affect the efficiency of the blood to clot leading to excessive blood loss. Depending on your medications, your doctor may ask you to stop or change some of them a few days before the test. On the day of the test, it is advised to wear shirts and T-shirts that are half-sleeved to make the procedure more convenient and easy. A shirt that easily rolls up can also be worn.

Uses of BT & CT

The test enables the doctor to check if you have any bleeding disorder such as haemophilia or Von Willebrand’s disease. Normal bleeding time is taken to be between one and eight minutes. Anything outside this range points to platelet defects and would require further testing. In case of a chronic disease, platelet dysfunction can be caused over a lifetime, however, proper medication and treatment can help manage that issue.

Procedure or BT & CT test

The procedure or BT CT test involves the following steps: The puncture site will first be cleaned with an antiseptic to minimize any chances of infection. Next, a pressure cuff will be placed on your upper arm and inflated. To test the blood-clotting capacity, your doctor shall make two shallow cuts that are only just deep enough to bleed slightly. After the cuts are made, the pressure cuff will be removed. Your doctor will then use a stopwatch or timer to monitor your bleeding. After every 30 seconds, the doctor will blot the cuts with the paper until the bleeding stops. Once bleeding stops, the time taken for the blood to clot is recorded and your cuts are bandaged.