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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course An Introduction to the Medical Laboratory, Part 1. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The coagulation department, often paired with the hematology department, is the area where a patient's plasma is tested for its ability to clot. Bleeding and clotting disorders are detected and anticoagulant therapy is monitored in this department.
The coagulation department receives plasma specimens in light blue-top tubes.
The most common tests performed in the coagulation department is the prothrombin time (PT) and the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT).
The PT is important in monitoring patients on blood thinners (e.g. coumadin) and diagnosing patients with blood clotting disorders. In many labs, the PT results are converted to the international normalized ratio (INR) and denoted as PT/INR.
The aPTT is important in diagnosing and monitoring patients with bleeding disorders. It is also important in monitoring patients on IV anticoagulants (e.g. heparin).

Sodium citrate coagulation tubes, denoted by their light blue tops.