Coagulation Disorders deal with disruption of the body’s ability to control blood clotting. This disorder can be acquired or inherited. Major causes of acquired coagulation disorders are vitamin K deficiency, liver disease, disseminated intravascular coagulation and development of circulating anticoagulants. Disorders of coagulation can lead to an increased risk of bleeding (hemorrhage) or obstructive clotting (thrombosis).
Coagulation begins almost instantly after an injury to the blood vessel has damaged the lining of the vessel. Exposure of the blood to proteins such as tissue factor initiates changes to blood platelets and the plasma protein fibrinogen, a clotting factor. Platelets immediately form a plug at the site of injury; this is called primary hemostasis. Secondary hemostasis occurs simultaneously: Proteins in the blood plasma, called coagulation factors or clotting factors, respond in a complex cascade to form fibrin strands, which strengthen the platelet plug. The most common hereditary bleeding disorder is von Willebrand’s disease.
The most common hereditary coagulation factor deficiency is hemophilia. Other abnormalities in the coagulation system can cause excessive blood clotting, or thrombophilia. The most common thrombophic condition is the Factor V Leiden Mutation, occurring in approximately 5% of the Caucasian population.
Coagulation Clinic meeting the first and third Fridays of the month.