An interactive computer program to teach the physiology and laboratory assessment of haemostatic function and the use of the haemostatic profile in diagnosis of common clinical disorders.
The program is divided into several sections.
Tutorials: uses text, colour graphics and animated graphics to teach the morphology and physiological function of platelets, the haemostatic mechanisms: platelet plug formation and coagulation (intrinsic, extrinsic and common pathways) and anti-clotting mechanisms especially fibrinolysis.
Methods: uses text and animated graphics to describe the principles and a step-by-step method of each of the major laboratory tests used in producing a haemostatic profile (Bleeding time, Prothrombin Time, Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT), Thrombin Time). It also includes details of an automated technique using a coagulometer.
In Clinical Cases: the use of the test results in diagnosis is taught using a highly interactive problem-solving approach which requires students to use data from selected clinical case histories to make a diagnosis. For each of five different cases (haemophilia, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, von Willebrand Disease, alcohol-induced liver disease, pro-myelocytic leukaemia) a brief patient history and a haemostatic profile is provided. Students must answer on-screen questions and may access relevant further test results. They must then use this information to make a correct diagnosis from a list of possible conditions. Feedback and help are available throughout and there is also a glossary, which explains the medical terms used.