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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 to control bleeding hinges primarily on the availability of both platelets and coagulation factors, as well as their adequate functionality.

  • It is important to note, however, that there are limits in the size, or the degree of damage that can be controlled and repaired without outside (medical) intervention.

  • As one may expect, and the prior chart illustrates, damage to a larger vessel yields a more substantial bleed, and in turn consumes a greater quantity of coagulation components.

  • These variables can radically alter the effectiveness of hemostatic control mechanisms.
  • As we will discover later in the course, there are other variables which impact the effectiveness of hemostatic mechanisms as well, such as acquired disease states, and inborn metabolic pathway defects.

  • For now, however, our focus will be on the mechanisms, processes, and components which work together to achieve coagulation, or the cessation of blood flow from a damaged vessel.

  • Note: The terms coagulation and hemostasis are used interchangeably throughout this course.