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Process of forming a blood clot to prevent blood loss from a ruptured vessel. A damaged blood vessel stimulates activation of clotting factors, eventually leading to the formation of long, sticky threads of fibrin. These make a mesh that traps platelets, blood cells, and plasma. This meshwork soon contracts into a resilient clot that can withstand the friction of blood flow. Under abnormal circumstances, clots can form in an intact vessel and may block it. See alsoanticoagulant.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on coagulation, visit Britannica.com.