Recent advances in the understanding of blood coagulation provide strong evidence that exposure of tissue factor is the "match" which initiates blood coagulation. A novel plasma protease inhibitor, called EPI or LACI, effectively extinguishes this "match," leaving Factors IXa, VIII, X, V, and II to function as a "fuse." Activated Factors IX, X, and II are controlled by heparin-enhancable protease inhibitors. Activated Factors VIII and V are destroyed by the protein C/S system. Fibrinolysis is largely cell-based and controlled by differential secretion of plasminogen activators and plasminogen activator inhibitors.