Haemostasis, Coagulation and Thrombosis

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This Biology topic focuses on three inter-related areas - haemostasis, coagulation and thrombosis. Blood is carried around the body in vessels known as capillaries, veins, arterioles and arteries. Any damage to these vessels initiates an automatic reaction that rapidly plugs the wound and limits blood loss. This is known as haemostasis.

Haemostasis comprises three interrelated processes: thrombosis, coagulation and vasoconstriction. These combine to constrict vessels, preventing blood flow and then convert fluid blood into a solid plug that blocks the site of injury.

You should already have a basic working knowledge of the following from your AS level or equivalent studies:

• Workings of the circulatory system
• Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk factors
• Basic details about blood clotting.

If you meet any terms you do not understand then have a look at the Glossary document in the Downloads box.

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