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Clotting

Clotting

Clotting is the process that changes blood in the body from a free-flowing liquid into a thick, jellylike substance that stops bleeding.

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Circulatory system

Thrombus

Almost as soon as blood starts to flow from a cut finger or scraped knee, platelets begin to gather. Platelets are clear blood cells that start the process of clotting. But like a towel used to wrap a leaky drainpipe, the disc-shaped platelets cannot completely stop the flow of blood.

As many as 20 different proteins in the blood come together in the clotting process. The proteins are in the plasma, which is the yellow-tinted portion of the blood that also contains water and other substances and carries blood cells and nutrients. These proteins in plasma are called clotting factors. The protein clotting factors react with calcium and with other substances in the bodys tissues and platelets to create a thick mass of jellylike material that plugs up the cut.

Clotting helps to stop bleeding from wounds. But blood may clot in the wrong places and times, such as the veins in the leg. This causes a condition known as thrombosis. Clots in veins may break free and travel to the heart and lungs, where they may cause a pulmonary embolism*, which can cause death.

* pulmonary embolism
is a blockage of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches that is frequently caused by thrombosis, or formation of a blood clot, in the lower extremities.

Some people have blood that does not clot well. Perhaps the best known clotting disorder is hemophilia*. People with liver disorders also may have blood that does not clot well since the liver produces some of the most important clotting factors found in the blood.

* hemophilia
(hee-mo-FIL-e-a) is a hereditary disease that results in abnormal bleeding because the blood fails to clot. It occurs almost exclusively in males.

See also

Embolism

Hemophilia

Stroke

Thrombosis

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"Clotting." Complete Human Diseases and Conditions. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Clotting." Complete Human Diseases and Conditions. . Retrieved June 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/clotting

clotting factors

clotting factors (coagulation factors) A group of substances present in blood plasma that, under certain circumstances, undergo a series of chemical reactions leading to the conversion of blood from a liquid to a solid state (see blood clotting). Although they have specific names, most coagulation factors are referred to by an agreed set of Roman numerals (e.g. Factor VIII, Factor IX). Lack of any of these factors in the blood results in the inability of the blood to clot. See also haemophilia.

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"clotting factors." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"clotting factors." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clotting-factors

"clotting factors." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved June 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clotting-factors

clotting factors

clotting factors (klot-ing) pl. n. see coagulation factors.

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"clotting factors." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"clotting factors." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved June 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/clotting-factors