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Coagulation disorders deal with disruption of the body's ability to control blood clotting. The most commonly known coagulation disorder is hemophilia, a condition in which patients bleed for long periods of time before clotting. There are other coagulation disorders with a variety of causes.
Coagulation, or clotting, occurs as a complex process involving several components of the blood. Plasma, the fluid component of the blood, carries a number of proteins and coagulation factors that regulate bleeding. Platelets, small colorless fragments in the blood, initiate contraction of damaged blood vessels so that less blood is lost. They also help plug damaged blood vessels and work with plasma to accelerate blood clotting. A disorder affecting platelet production or one of the many steps in the entire process can disrupt clotting.
Coagulation disorders arise from different causes and produce different complications. Some common coagulation disorders are:
Some coagulation disorders present symptoms such as severe bruising. Others will show no apparent symptoms, but carry the threat of severe internal bleeding.
Author Info: Teresa Norris RN, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 2002This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
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