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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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Secondary Hemostasis – Fibrin Formation via the Coagulation Cascade

  • The formation of fibrin involves three interconnected biochemical pathways; the intrinsic, extrinsic, and common pathways.
  • These pathways allow for the interaction of coagulation factors via a finely tuned sequence of chemical processes, where the factors themselves control the activity of the pathway.
  • Most coagulation factors are stimulated and activated by the preceding factor , hence the term, "coagulation cascade."
  • Since factor activation requires the activation of a preceding factor, a deficiency in the functionality or availability of any factor would seriously impact the effectiveness of the coagulation process.
  • Factor deficiencies do occur, however, and often lead to impaired vascular repair and depressed hemostatic activity.