August 9, 2012
Describe Blood Clotting and When One or More Factors are Missing, What Will Happen? Examples are needed
Blood clotting also known as coagulation prevents excessive bleeding from taking place when a blood vessel is injured. Coagulation is a complex process that involves a cellular and a protein component. The blood clotting process involves blood changing from a liquid to a solid. This process involves 20 different plasma proteins which are known as the clotting factors. If these factors are deficient or missing this process will not happen normally and many things may or will go wrong in the coagulation process. There are many participants to the complex process of coagulation, one of those being platelets which are also known as thrombocytes. These cells are small, irregularly shaped and have a life span of five to nine days. These cells circulate through the blood of mammals and are involved in hemostasis. In hemostasis, a damaged blood vessel wall is plugged by a platelet and a fibrin containing clot to stop bleeding so the damage to the blood vessel may be repaired and healing may occur. Fibrin is an insoluble protein involved in blood clotting which deposits around the wound forming a mesh like substance that strengthens the platelets plug. The platelets and the proteins in the plasma, work together to stop the bleeding by forming a clot over the injury; which the body will then dissolve after the injury is healed. The coagulation factors are proteins mostly manufactured by the liver. When a blood vessel wall is damaged, a wound occurs, and a complex set of chemical reactions occur and convert it to fibrinogen. In people with bleeding disorders, the clotting factors are missing or do not work properly. Some bleeding disorders are genetic and quite rare. Some examples of bleeding disorders are Von Willebrand disease, liver disease, antibodies produced by the immune system, medications such as aspirin or warfarin or hemophilia. With Von Willebrand, patients typically have low levels of the clotting factor VIII, which usually is mild and with early diagnosis usually have no real concerns for excessive bleeding unless they are having surgery but medications may be given to counteract this. Another bleeding disorder that revolves around factor VIII, is hemophilia A, which is an inherited bleeding disorder where this factor is usually missing or in low levels and the blood will not clot like it does normally which does make a person at risk for bleeding. Liver disease is a common cause of blood clotting dysfunction since the liver makes six of the blood clotting factors; factor I (fibrinogen), factor II (prothrombin), factor IV, factor V, factor VI and factor VII. Furthermore, if a patient has a deficient level of factor VIII this would be diagnosed as hemophilia A. If a patient has different levels of factor IX then this would be diagnosed as hemophilia B. On the opposite end of blood clotting, there are some patients that have an increased tendency to form excessive clots. These conditions are typically inherited; Factor V Leiden and thrombophilia are two examples of what happens when there is an abnormality in a particular clotting factor. Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia is a topic of special interest to me since I have an Aunt on my mother’s side that was confirmed to have this certain genetic clotting disorder. Factor V Leiden thrombophilia is an inherited disorder for a specific gene mutation that results in thrombophilia. Thrombophilia is an increased tendency to form abnormal blood clots that can block blood vessels. People with Factor V Leiden thrombophilia have a higher than average risk of developing a type of blood clot called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). My Aunt did have some issues with each pregnancy but overall she was healthy and her babies were healthy. The last baby landed her back in the hospital a couple days after delivery...