Formation of Blood Clots

Topics: Blood, Blood vessel, Coagulation Pages: 2 (551 words) Published: March 5, 2011

• A blood clot is a mass of blood cells and blood components that form to stop the bleeding that occurs when a blood vessel is injured. When a blood vessel is broken, platelets in the blood become sticky and clump together at the site of the injury. They begin to form a mass to stop the flow of blood. Description

• Clotting is the body's normal response to a bleeding injury. It is a necessary function to prevent a person from losing too much blood. Most blood clots dissolve back into the blood when the body has healed the vessel. Blood clots, however, can be potentially dangerous if they occur within healthy blood vessels, or if they do not dissolve when their work is done Causes & symptoms

• There are several factors that contribute to the formation of blood clots. Blood diseases or other conditions—especially inflammation—that alter the quality of the blood can also affect clot formation. Plaque formation in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and damaged blood vessels both increase the chance of blood clots because they slow blood flow and provide a place for platelets to collect and form a clot. Genetic factors also play a role in tendency to form blood clots. Diet can have an effect on clot formation, as well. Cholesterol and saturated fats, which are also implicated in atherosclerosis, can contribute to clot formation. People whose diets are low in essential fatty acids, vegetables, and fish, and who do not take in proper amounts of nutrients and antioxidants are also at a higher risk for clots. Conditions or body positions that slow blood circulation—extended bed rest or sitting in a car or airplane for long periods of time—may also cause blood clots to form. Blood clots can be caused by increased fibrinogen (a blood-clotting factor) due to estrogen in the late stages of pregnancy and from long-term use of birth control pills. Other factors include varicose veins, sickle cell anemia, smoking, obesity, liver...
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