Blood Basics

What are blood clotting tests?

A Answers (1)

  • Anticoagulants (sometimes called blood thinners) are drugs that cause your blood to take longer to clot. They help prevent dangerous clots from forming in your heart and blood vessels. Yet in doing so, they also bring a risk of excess bleeding throughout your body. That's why if you're taking an anticoagulant (such as Coumadin), your healthcare provider will order regular blood tests to make sure your blood is clotting at the right level.

    The most common clotting test is called a PT/INR test. The PT (prothrombin time) is how long it takes your blood to clot. An INR (internationalized normalized ratio) is a calculation based on the PT. Your blood test result is usually expressed as an INR.
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What is blood clotting?