The Royal Society

Can’t clot a lot?

Posted by on 20 July 2011

Traumatic injury is the cause of many deaths worldwide, mostly due to severe blood loss. When a cut is made the body’s first response is to form a clot to stop further blood loss. Dr Simon Eaglestone and his team at the Royal London Hospital are investigating why people have trouble forming this first line of defence at the exhibit Science of the bleeding obvious. What should normally happen is that a fibrous mesh forms over the wound that then white blood cells called platelets latch onto and stops the bleeding by ‘plugging the gap’. This process is called coagulation. Unfortunately 1 in 4 patients have trouble forming these clots. Watch the following video to see a demonstration of how a clot forms.