Platelets: Homeostasis and Clotting

Platelets: Homeostasis and Clotting


This lesson will identify the role of platelets in maintaining homeostasis and preventing major blood loss.

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  • Platelets

    Are also called thrombocytes, platelets are actually cell fragments of bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes. Platelets are used to form blood clots to control hemostasis.

  • Hemostasis

    The process of controlling/stopping bleeding from a broken vessel; platelets are the main component of hemostasis by working with the plasma protein fibrinogen to form a blood clot.

  • Thrombin

    An enzyme in the blood that plays a critical role in hemostasis by converting the plasma protein fibrinogen into fibrin; fibrin secures platelets as they plug a damaged vessel (platelet plug) and the end result is a clot.

  • Thrombosis

    The formation of a blood clot within a vessel which obstructs blood flow through the vessel.

  • Embolism

    A circulating mass in the blood, examples: fatty embolus or an air embolus.

  • Stroke

    When blood flow is obstructed to an area of the brain causing brain tissue to become ischemic; if blood flow is not immediately restored brain damage will ensue.

  • Hemophilia

    A group of hereditary disorders that prevent clots from being formed.