When a blood vessel is damaged, the components of blood like cells and proteins mobilize themselves to form a clot at the site of injury to prevent further loss of blood. After a while, this clot should resolve by itself. This process is coordinated in such a way that the blood remains freely flowing in the artery or vein.
Blood is a liquid medium through which nutrients and oxygen are transported around the body. This movement is only possible when blood remains in a free flowing form devoid of clots.
A blood clot (thrombus) is a clump of blood made up mainly of platelets and a special type of protein called clotting factors. Platelets are a type of blood cell that specialize in blood clot formation after an injury. They ensure this protective mechanism by initiating and mobilizing the clotting factors until a mesh is formed over the wound.
Clotting factors are a type of protein that play major roles in coagulation. They exist in the blood in their inactive form. They remain so until there is a signal to activate them. There are about 14 types of clotting factors known.
Sometimes some people experience excessive clot formation, other times clots do not form well enough. These are referred to as clotting disorders or blood clot disorders.
What is a blood clot disorder?
This is any abnormality that disrupts the normal coagulation process which occurs during injury. It could be in two main forms
- Inability of blood to clot during injury causing too much bleeding.
- Excessive formation of clots in the absence of a wound.
Clotting problems can be hereditary or acquired. The most common genetic blood clotting disorder is hemophilia.
Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder caused by deficiency of a certain clotting factor. People living with hemophilia do not only bleed longer, they bruise easily too.
Acquired clotting disorders are caused by factors other than genetic reasons. The liver is responsible for synthesis of most clotting factors. This implies that any severe condition that tampers with liver function could lead to affecting clotting. Abnormal clotting may also be due to vitamin K deficiency.
Test to diagnose blood clotting disorders
A diagnostic test for clotting disorders measures prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet tests.
Book Healthtracka's Clotting Profile Test below and experience an optimal testing experience.