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A bleeding disorder (coagulopathy) is a condition that affects the way the blood clots. It is characterised by prolonged/excessive bleeding following injury or medical and dental procedures [1]. In some instances spontaneous bleeding can occur into joints, muscles or other parts of the body.[2] Irregular clotting can be due to deficiencies and defects in blood platelets and/or clotting factors[3]. The body produces 13 clotting factors [4]. Blood clotting is affected if any of the clotting factors are deficient or defective.[5]

Bleeding Disorders (Coagulopathy)
Classification and external resources
Specialty hematology
ICD-10 D65-D68
ICD-9-CM 286
DiseasesDB 29158
MeSH D001778

Bleeding disorders can be inherited or acquired. Others can occur from conditions such as anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, HIV, leukemia and vitamin K deficiency. They also can result from certain medications that thin the blood, including antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications.

Examples of inherited bleeding disorders include Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B[6] and von Willebrand Disease.[7] Bleeding disorders can be acquired due to antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications that are taken for the prophylaxis and treatment of medical conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Stroke, Pulmonary Embolism and heart attack[8]. Examples of these medications include Aspirin and Clopidogrel (antiplatelets), Warfarin (anticoagulant) and Novel Oral Anticoagulant medications (NOACs) such as Rivaroxaban[9], Apixaban[10] and Dabigatran.[11]


Signs and symptomsEdit

Coagulopathy may cause uncontrolled internal or external bleeding. Left untreated, uncontrolled bleeding may cause damage to joints, muscles, or internal organs and may be life-threatening. People should seek immediate medical care for serious symptoms, including heavy external bleeding, blood in the urine or stool, double vision, severe head or neck pain, repeated vomiting, difficulty walking, convulsions, or seizures. They should seek prompt medical care if they experience mild but unstoppable external bleeding or joint swelling and stiffness.[citation needed]



The normal clotting process depends on the interplay of various proteins in the blood. Coagulopathy may be caused by reduced levels or absence of blood-clotting proteins, known as clotting factors or coagulation factors. Genetic disorders, such as hemophilia and Von Willebrand's disease, can cause a reduction in clotting factors.[12]

Anticoagulants such as warfarin will also prevent clots from forming properly.[12] Coagulopathy may also occur as a result of dysfunction or reduced levels of platelets (small disk-shaped bodies in the bloodstream that aid in the clotting process).[citation needed]


PT and PTT are good tools to check for coagulopathies


If someone has coagulopathy, their health care provider may help them manage their symptoms with medications or replacement therapy. In replacement therapy, the reduced or absent clotting factors are replaced with proteins derived from human blood or created in the laboratory. This therapy may be given either to treat bleeding that has already begun or to prevent bleeding from occurring.[citation needed]

Critical CareEdit

One area of treatment is managing people with major bleeding in a critical setting, like an emergency department.[13] In these situations, the common treatment is transfusing a combination of red cells with one of the following options:[citation needed]

The use of tranexamic acid is the only option that is currently supported by a large, randomized, controlled clinical trial, and is given to people with major bleeding after trauma.[14] There are several possible risks to treating coagulopathies, such as transfusion-related acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, major hemorrhage, and venous thromboembolism.

Laboratory findings in various platelet and coagulation disorders[citation needed]
Condition Prothrombin time Partial thromboplastin time Bleeding time Platelet count
Vitamin K deficiency or warfarin Prolonged Normal or mildly prolonged Unaffected Unaffected
Disseminated intravascular coagulation Prolonged Prolonged Prolonged Decreased
Von Willebrand disease Unaffected Prolonged or unaffected Prolonged Unaffected
Haemophilia Unaffected Prolonged Unaffected Unaffected
Aspirin Unaffected Unaffected Prolonged Unaffected
Thrombocytopenia Unaffected Unaffected Prolonged Decreased
Liver failure, early Prolonged Unaffected Unaffected Unaffected
Liver failure, end-stage Prolonged Prolonged Prolonged Decreased
Uremia Unaffected Unaffected Prolonged Unaffected
Congenital afibrinogenemia Prolonged Prolonged Prolonged Unaffected
Factor V deficiency Prolonged Prolonged Unaffected Unaffected
Factor X deficiency as seen in amyloid purpura Prolonged Prolonged Unaffected Unaffected
Glanzmann's thrombasthenia Unaffected Unaffected Prolonged Unaffected
Bernard-Soulier syndrome Unaffected Unaffected Prolonged Decreased or unaffected
Factor XII deficiency Unaffected Prolonged Unaffected Unaffected
C1INH deficiency Unaffected Shortened Unaffected Unaffected

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "What is a Bleeding Disorder?". National Hemophilia Foundation. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  2. ^ "What are bleeding disorders? - World Federation of Hemophilia". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  3. ^ "What are bleeding disorders? - World Federation of Hemophilia". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  4. ^ "Clotting Factors List – Names, Numbers and Actions (Functions) |". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  5. ^ "What is a Bleeding Disorder?". National Hemophilia Foundation. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  6. ^ "What is hemophilia? - World Federation of Hemophilia". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  7. ^ "What is von Willebrand disease? - World Federation of Hemophilia". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  8. ^ "Anticoagulant medicines". Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  9. ^ "Rivaroxaban". Wikipedia. 2018-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Apixaban". Wikipedia. 2018-02-16. 
  11. ^ "Dabigatran". Wikipedia. 2018-02-09. 
  12. ^ a b Spahn, DR.; Bouillon, B.; Cerny, V.; Coats, TJ.; Duranteau, J.; Fernández-Mondéjar, E.; Filipescu, D.; Hunt, BJ.; et al. (Apr 2013). "Management of bleeding and coagulopathy following major trauma: an updated European guideline". Crit Care. 17 (2): R76. doi:10.1186/cc12685. PMC 4056078 . PMID 23601765. 
  13. ^ Hunt, Beverley J. (2014). "Bleeding and Coagulopathies in Critical Care". New England Journal of Medicine. 370 (9): 847–859. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1208626. ISSN 0028-4793. 
  14. ^ Shakur, Haleema; Roberts, Ian; Perel, Pablo (2010). "Tranexamic acid for trauma – Authors' reply". The Lancet. 376 (9746): 1050–1051. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61479-1. ISSN 0140-6736.