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What are blood clots?

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Blood has a seemingly impossible job: It must flow continuously and smoothly throughout your body for an entire lifetime, but quickly shut off to prevent spills when you get a cut or injury.

Blood clots are healthy and lifesaving when they stop bleeding -- but they can also form when they aren't needed and cause a heart attack, stroke, or other serious medical problems.

SOURCES:

Merck Manual: "How Blood Clots."

World Federation of Hemophilia: "The clotting process."

American Stroke Association: "Anti-Clotting Agents Explained."

Lipe, B. Circulation, Oct. 4, 2011.

Furie, B. New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.

Hoffman, R. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice, 5th edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2009.

Fiumara, K. Circulation, 2009.

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 20, 2020

SOURCES:

Merck Manual: "How Blood Clots."

World Federation of Hemophilia: "The clotting process."

American Stroke Association: "Anti-Clotting Agents Explained."

Lipe, B. Circulation, Oct. 4, 2011.

Furie, B. New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.

Hoffman, R. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice, 5th edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2009.

Fiumara, K. Circulation, 2009.

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 20, 2020

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