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Anticoagulant is a medication that thins the blood or prevents the formation of blood clots.
Anticoagulants have various uses. Some are used for the prophylaxis (prevention) or the treatment of thromboembolic disorders. Thrombi are clots. Emboli are clots that break free, travel through the bloodstream, and lodge therein. The anticoagulant drugs used for these clinical purposes include:
Anticoagulant solutions are also used for the preservation of stored whole blood and blood fractions. These anticoagulants include heparin and acid citrate dextrose (commonly called ACD).
Anticoagulants are also used to keep laboratory blood specimens from clotting. These agents include not only heparin but also several agents that make calcium ions unavailable to the clotting process and so prevent the formation of clots, these agents include:
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