The process of coagulation is extremely complex, with an extraordinary array of checks and balances that generally maintain the blood in a fluid state across a wide variety of circumstances whilst at the same time permitting rapid and effective control of episodes of bleeding. The complex interplay of the numerous components of the coagulation system varies, as it must, with the circumstances in each individual and the stressors to which an individual is exposed. The cell-based concept of coagulation also emphasises the critical role of cellular components in the clotting pathway.1 Assessment of coagulation must take all of these factors into consideration
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