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Summary of Primary Hemostasis

In summation, we have covered the following sequence of events, which comprise primary hemostasis.
  1. The process begins with damage to a vessel wall, as blood flows outside the vasculature.
  2. The body responds with vasoconstriction, decreasing blood flow to the affected area.
  3. Platelets begin sticking to the damaged vessel walls (platelet adhesion).
  4. As the platelets stick, they change their shape (platelet activation) and release chemicals which signal other platelets to respond (platelet secretion).
  5. As other platelets arrive, they begin sticking to one another, clumping together, forming a plug to fill in the breach (platelet aggregation).
  6. This plug, while strong, is a temporary fix, and must be reinforced with fibrin strands to effectively fill the breach during the vessel repair process (secondary hemostasis).