Bleeding time

Bleeding Time

Bleeding time is a test that measures how quickly a person's blood clots. It is also known as a "clotting time" or "clotting test". The test is used mainly to check for bleeding tendencies caused by certain disorders of clotting or platelet function. It is usually done along with other tests to diagnose or monitor these conditions.


Before having this test, your doctor will likely ask you about any medications you are taking. Certain medications, such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulant drugs (also called "blood thinners"), and certain herbal supplements, can affect the results of the test. Be sure to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking before having the test.


The test is carried out by making small punctures on the forearm. A special machine or timer is used to count how long it takes for the bleeding to stop. The blood will be collected on special paper or cloth and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.


There are two types of bleeding time tests:

  • The Duke's Method: This measures the time it takes for blood to form a clot.
  • The Modified Ivy Method: This measures the amount of time it takes for the blood sample to clot and stop oozing from the puncture site.


Bleeding time tests are generally safe and there are no serious risks associated with them. However, some people may experience mild discomfort or bruising at the puncture site. The puncture site may also develop a small hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin).

Why it’s done?

The bleeding time test is used to diagnose and monitor certain conditions that affect the body's ability to form blood clots, such as:

  • Hemophilia A and B
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Platelet function disorders
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Drug-induced bleeding disorders

When to get tested?

If your doctor suspects that you may have one of the conditions listed above, they may order a bleeding time test. If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, your doctor may also order a bleeding time test to monitor your condition over time.