This course began with a discussion on homeostasis, the body's desire to maintain a status of physiological equilibrium. Our inborn system of chemical checks and balances, activators and inhibitors, can be disrupted by numerous factors, two of the more common being acquired disease states and disorders passed on to offspring via inheritance.
In regard to coagulation, both disease status and genetics can adversely affect the functionality of many hemostatic processes. Impaired hemostatic mechanisms, whether acquired or inherited, may cause either hemorrhage or thrombosis.
- Hemorrhage (bleeding external to the vasculature) most often stems from physical vessel trauma, but may also arise from a wide variety of disease states.
- Thrombosis does not require physical trauma, and is the activation of hemostatic processes at an inappropriate time in an inappropriate place, and may arise from a number of inherited or acquired disease states.
The following pages are intended to serve as an introduction to some of the more commonly encountered coagulation disorders.