PRP in a Paragraph

PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is a simple medical procedure that uses a patients blood to accelerate healing. Platelet Rich Plasma procedures are used in aesthetic, hair loss, sports rehabilitation, orthopaedic, veterinary, and dental settings. The procedure involves taking a blood sample (typically between 10ml - 20ml) from the patient and separating the sample into whole blood and plasma by using a centrifuge. Once separated, the plasma will have a high-concentration of platelets - small blood cells responsible for the healing of wounds. This platelet rich plasma is collected from the sample and reinjected into the patient in a localised area. 

For a far more detailed account of How PRP works, please follow the link to a helpful article here

What are Platelets?

Platelets are small blood cells (also known as Thrombocytes or Megakaryocytes) that get their name from being shaped like a small plates when they are inactive. Platelets are formed in Bone Marrow, the same location as Stem Cells.However, when the body generates signals that a part of it is damaged, platelets in the area activate by spreading long tentacles that look similar to an octopus. The activated platelets bind together over the wounded area and are a key mechanism for autologous healing of the human body.


Whilst PRP is the most well-known treatments of this kind, Platelet Rich Fibrin (or PRF) is growing in popularity and can be used in a number of versatile ways - so, what is PRF and why is it different to PRP?

PRP tubes will contain a chemical compound which stops the blood sample from coagulating and forming a hard clot. There are different options available for anti-coagulation, but Sodium Citrate (what hospitals will use to store blood for blood-transfusions) is the most common and very safe.

On the other hand, PRF tubes contain no anti-coagulant. This means that left to its own devices and when exposed to oxygen, the blood sample taken from a patient will form a solid clot, as shown in the image.

This clot can be used in dentistry during implant preparation, in sports therapy to speed-up the healing of joints, or in cosmetics. Alternatively, as coagulation takes time, PRF is an injectable liquid for (depending on the brand of supplier) for up to 16 minutes. This is an option for practitioners trying to provide the most autologous procedure, without the introduction of any foreign substances (like anti-coagulants).

If you want to find out more about PRF, please see the link to a useful article here

Safety of Treatments

Because PRP & PRF is only beginning to be introduced across a wide-range of medical fields, until recently it has been a challenging area of medicine to regulate and establish best-practice. However, there are some key safety criteria that are critical to follow.

1. Medically Approved PRP Tubes. When making a medical device, a manufacturer will make a device that is suitable for either In Vitro (Laboratory Equipment) or In Vivo (for use back into a human body). Buying blood collection tubes with an anti-coagulant without approval for In-Vivo use, is dangerous. The tubes will not be tested for cyto-toxicity and can contain plastics that can be fatal when introduced into the bloodstream. The same is true for the anti-coagulant materials inside the tubes. Therefore, ensure that your supplier of PRP tubes has certificates to show that the tubes are completely free of any materials that could be damaging to the human body.

2. Sterile Equipment and Working Space. It goes without saying that any treatments involving phlebotomy equipment need to be conducted with completely sterile equipment and in a sterile environment. Failure to do so could result in introducing bacteria into a human's blood stream.

3. Training from Experts. This is useful for prospective practitioners and individuals looking for PRP treatment. In order to get the best results, anybody conducting these treatments needs to be trained in Phlebotomy. They will also need a follow up course, specifically in PRP or PRF. If you are looking to receive this training, you can find Hawksley's list of recommended and qualified trainers in the United Kingdom here. Alternatively, if you are looking for treatments yourself, ensure that whoever is conducting treatment can display a valid training certificate in both Phlebotomy and PRP.

Types of PRP Treatment

Would you be interested in training to do PRP procedures? Get in touch with Hawksley or our excellent training providers