Platelets are derived from the cytoplasm of megakaryocytes, giant cells in the bone marrow. At any given time, two thirds of the total platelets are in the circulation and one third are present in the spleen. In persons with enlarged spleens 80-90% of the platelets are in the spleen resulting in a decreased concentration of circulating platelets. In individuals who have had a splenectomy all of the platelets will be in the circulating blood. The life span of the platelet is 8-10 days.