Hemostasis is initiated by injury to the vascular wall, leading to the deposition of platelets adhering to components of the subendothelium. Platelet adhesion requires the presence of von Willebrand factor and platelet receptors (IIb/IIIa and Ib/IX). Additional platelets are recruited to the site of injury by release of platelet granular contents, including ADP. The "platelet plug" is stabilized by interaction with fibrinogen. In this review, I consider laboratory tests used to evaluate coagulation, including prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, and platelet count. I discuss hereditary disorders of platelets and/or coagulation proteins that lead to clinical bleeding as well as acquired disorders, including disseminated intravascular coagulation and acquired circulating anticoagulants.