Did You Know?
Heparin is an organic compound used to prevent blood from clotting in the heart or blood vessels during and after surgery, and for initial treatment of various heart, lung, or circulatory disorders in which there is an increased risk of blood clotting. A mixture of complex carbohydrate molecules, heparin occurs naturally in liver and lung tissues. It was discovered in 1922 and originally used to prevent clotting in blood taken for laboratory tests.
Origin and Etymology of heparin
International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek hēpar liver
First Known Use: 1918
Medical Definition of heparin
: a glycosaminoglycan sulfuric acid ester that occurs especially in the liver and lungs, that prolongs the clotting time of blood by preventing the formation of fibrin, and that is administered parenterally in the form of its sodium salt in vascular surgery and in the treatment of postoperative thrombosis and embolism—see liquaemin; compare antiprothrombin, antithrombin
Learn More about heparin
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heparin
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