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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Fundamentals of Hemostasis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Coagulation

  • The ability of the body to maintain a state of homeostasis, or physiological equilibrium, is absolutely essential for effective, efficient functionality of all body systems.

  • The mechanisms involved in blood coagulation, also known as hemostasis or blood clotting, serve to illustrate this concept.

  • Hemostasis is the cessation of free blood flow, external to the vascular system, when a vessel wall has been breached.

  • With the maintenance of homeostasis in mind, it is vital that the body be able to rapidly repair vascular damage, arresting blood flow in the process, while simultaneously maintaining blood in a fluid state within the vascular compartment.
  • Blood flow is arrested by way of a complex series of interrelated physiological and biochemical processes.
  • There are a wide variety of factors that influence the effectiveness of hemostatic processes including the following:

    • Type of, and degree of, vessel damage
    • Ability of vasoconstriction to occur
    • Availability of platelets & their functionality
    • Availability of clotting factors & their functionality
    • Absence of inhibitors & anticoagulants