Diagnosis and Management of Common Acquired Bleeding Disorders

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Abstract

Acquired bleeding disorders (ABD) are commonly encountered in both inpatient and outpatient settings. ABD can occur due to consumption, decreased synthesis, or inhibition of coagulation factors and platelets. Clinical presentation may vary, ranging from mild bruising to life-threatening hemorrhage. The location, frequency, severity, and provocation of bleeding provide insight into the cause of ABD. Obtaining a good medical, surgical, family, social, and medication history is a crucial step in determining the underlying etiology. Basic laboratory parameters, such as prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, fibrinogen, platelet count, and D-dimer levels, aid in further elucidating the reason for bleeding. Optimal management depends on accurate interpretation of the history and laboratory values. Treatment options include administration of vitamin K; blood component transfusion, consisting of plasma, cryoprecipitate, and/or platelets; and blood derivatives, including single and multiple factor concentrates. These products should be used judiciously, due to potential infectious and noninfectious complications, including transfusion-related acute lung injury and transfusion-associated circulatory overload. This article discusses the management of the more common causes of ABD.

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