Learning about coagulation by reading words is like trying to make friends while dressed as a clown, holding an axe, standing in a a cornfield in the middle of nowhere. Don’t make things hard for yourself. Draw a picture!
But the coagulation cascade looks long and complicated!
That’s just how it LOOKS…in actuality it’s as easy as 12,11,10,9…observe:
Write out the factors from 13 to 1 – backwards. You don’t need to differentiate between a particular factor and its activated form (for example, 10 and 10a) because they all become activated
4 and 6 don’t exist
10 is special so it’s out of order
7 is lucky so it’s below the others
3, 5, 8 are helpful mates (they help along particular steps of the pathway)
13 is unlucky so it’s not related “2” anything
The factors IN a straight line are part of the INTRINSIC pathway. The aPTT (which has more letters) monitors this pathway (which has more factors)
On the other hand, PT (which has fewer letters) monitors the Extrinsic pathway (which has fewer factors)
Once you’ve got a handle on the above, notice that you can remember various other facts about the coagulation cascade using observations like, “10 is a special number so those factors surrounding it – 2,7,9,10 – need vitamin K” , or “lack of ____ factor will result in ____ disease”. The following diagram helped me learn much of coagulation, in conjunction with the text. However, it’s not enough. Do lots of questions with this diagram in mind. I hope it helps.