Feeds

What makes a wound stop bleeding?

Comprehending coagulation

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Also in this week's column:

What makes a wound stop bleeding?

Asked by Alicia Rauzok of Greensboro, North Carolina

A wound stops bleeding due to the process of clot formation called coagulation. Coagulation is from the Latin coagulatus meaning "to cause to curdle".

Blood contains an enzyme called Protease 34 kD or thrombin for short. Thrombin is made in the liver. The only time thrombin seems to become active in the body is when there is an open wound.

Blood is circulating tissue composed of a fluid portion (plasma) with suspended formed elements (platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells). Arterial blood is the means by which oxygen and nutrients are transported to body tissues. Venus blood is the means by which carbon dioxide and metabolic by-products are transported from body tissues to exit the body.

In blood plasma there is a specific protein called fibrinogen. In an open wound the enzyme thrombin unites with the fibrinogen to form needlelike crystals called fibrin. This union forms a biochemical alliance that catches blood cells called corpuscles as they try to flood out of the body through the wound. Corpuscle is from the Latin "corpusculum" meaning "any small particle or body".

All this chemical action creates a plug called a blood clot. After a time, moisture is squeezed out of the clot and it contracts. This process is called syneresis. It's not widely known but the same chemical process of syneresis also happens in the formation of jams and jellies.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.