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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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Summary of Primary Hemostasis

In summary, we have covered the events which comprise primary hemostasis.
  • The process begins with damage to a vessel wall, as blood flows outside the vasculature.
  • The body responds with vasoconstriction, decreasing blood flow to the affected area.
  • Platelets begin sticking to the damaged vessel walls.
  • As the platelets stick, they release chemicals which signal other platelets to respond.
  • As other platelets arrive, they begin sticking to one another, clumping together, forming a plug to fill in the breach.
  • 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.
Construction of the fibrin strands occurs during secondary hemostasis, our next topic to be covered.