Q:

How does the body stop the bleeding from a cut?

A:

Quick Answer

Bleeding from cuts is largely controlled by the actions of blood cells called platelets, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. These specialized blood cells recognize injuries and stick together to form a clot to stop blood loss.

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Healthy amounts of platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are a vital part of healthy blood, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Patients with too many platelets suffer from a condition known as thrombocytosis, in which an increased number of platelets also increases the risk of cardiovascular events and stroke due to the potential for the excess platelets to form clots in the bloodstream. Patients with too few platelets are diagnosed with thrombocytopenia and often suffer from frequent bruising and bleeding from the gums, nose or gastrointestinal tract. Some diseases involving platelets affect the function of the platelets rather than their amount, preventing them from performing their function.

In addition to platelets, proteins in the blood known as clotting factors are involved in the process of forming a blood clot, according to Mayo Clinic. Deficiencies in these proteins can also prevent platelets from forming blood clots and lead to dangerous, uncontrolled bleeding. Hemophilia is one example of an inherited disorder that affects the function of clotting factors.

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