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What are blood clotting tests?

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.

Continue Learning about Blood Basics

Blood Basics

Blood Basics

Our blood is a living tissue with a variety of critical functions: It delivers oxygen and nutrients to our organs, fights infections and creates blood clots, preventing us from bleeding excessively when a blood vessel is damaged. ...

The liquid part of our blood, called plasma, is key for maintaining blood pressure and supplying critical proteins for blood clotting, immunity and maintaining the correct pH balance in our body -- critical to cell function. Plasma also carries the solid part of our blood -- white blood cells, which work to destroy viruses and bacteria; red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body; and platelets, which help clotting. Learn more about blood basics with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.