The mechanism of blood coagulation has been the subject of extensive investigations in the last two decades. As a result of these studies much valuable information has been obtained, which has modified previous concepts considerably. In spite of the advances in the field there are still gaps in our knowledge, which suggests that present theories are probably temporary. With such limitations, we may accept a rather simple hypothesis which divides the coagulation process into three stages: thromboplastin generation, prothrombin conversion to thrombin, and transformation of fibrinogen into fibrin (Table 1).
The best-known factors which participate in the second and third stages have been thoroughly studied in the blood of the normal
newborn and of the premature infant. In the first stage few investigations have been performed, but they prove conclusively the existence of definite alterations. Van Creveld et al.1 were the pioneers in this particular field, showing in 1954
ABALLÍ AJ, BANÚS VL, de LAMERENS S, ROZENGVAIG S. Coagulation Studies in the Newborn Period: Alterations of Thromboplastin Generation and Effects of Vitamin K in Full-Term and Premature Infants. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(6):589–600. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030070001001
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