When a blood vessel is damaged then rapid blood clotting is required in which the blood clot seals the break in the blood vessels and limits blood loss. Also, it prevents any antigen (pathogen) invading the open wounds. When a blood cell with no nucleus called platelets makes contact with the damaged vessel wall then they change from flattened discs to spheres. Platelets cell surface changes, allowing them to stick to the exposed collagen in the wall as well as to each other. This leads to a cascade change to form a blood clot:
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The Clotting Cascade
- A protein called thromboplastin is released due to platelets and damaged tissues.
- Thromboplastin activates an enzyme that catalyzes (speeds up the reaction) the conversion of the protein prothrombin into an enzyme called thrombin. In order for the conversion to happen calcium ions and vitamin K are present in the blood plasma.
- Thrombin then catalyzes the conversion of the soluble plasma protein, fibrinogen, into the insoluble fibrin.
- Then a mesh of fibrin is formed that traps more platelets and red blood cells to form a clot.
What Causes a Blood Clot To Form in The Arteries?
Normally there are fewer chances of a blood clot to occur inside a blood vessel as the platelets do not stick to the endothelium surface because endothelium is very smooth and has substances on the surface that repel the platelets. However, atherosclerosis causes damage to the endothelium cells which reduce its elasticity and smoothness, therefore clotting cascade is triggered within the vessels.
Aspirin For Lowering Blood Clot:
Aspirin is a medication that is prescribed to patients with coronary heart disease. It is one of the platelet inhibitor drugs that decrease the stickiness of platelets and prevents blood cells from clumping together such as it stops blocking of the blood vessels that lead to heart or brain. Hence, it prevents the platelets from sticking to the damaged endothelium so it reduces blood clot. The arteries are then less likely to be blocked completely by the blood clot so it lowers risk of heart attack or stroke.
Benefits of Using Aspirin:
- It inhibits blood from clumping together leading to reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
- Aspirin can be used as a combined drug for certain medical conditions.
Risk of Using Aspirin:
- For some people, aspirin is not effective therefore alternative platelet inhibitor drugs are used such as clopidogrel.
- There are side effects of aspirin that include bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.