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J Am Board Fam Med. 2014 Jul-Aug;27(4):549-64. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.04.130227.

Identification and basic management of bleeding disorders in adults.

Author information

1
From the Department of Medicine (RKJ, CAL), and the Department of Pediatrics (TCS), Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana. rkruseja@tulane.edu.
2
From the Department of Medicine (RKJ, CAL), and the Department of Pediatrics (TCS), Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Abstract

Adults with bleeding disorders may present to their family physician with minor bleeding symptoms or hematologic laboratory abnormalities discovered during evaluation for surgery or another purpose. Identifying the small proportion of adults who have an underlying bleeding disorder as the cause for such signs or symptoms may be challenging. In cases of asymptomatic hematologic laboratory abnormalities, the particular abnormality should narrow down the potentially affected hemostatic component(s), ideally streamlining subsequent investigation. In patients presenting with bleeding symptoms, a thorough history and physical examination are critical for first identifying bleeding as pathologic, then performing the appropriate diagnostic evaluation after excluding identifiable causes. Knowledge of the pathophysiologic processes contributing to impaired hemostasis in any given bleeding disorder ensures proper treatment and avoids therapies that are unnecessary or even contraindicated. Management is further determined by bleeding phenotype and, for invasive procedures, the anticipated risk for bleeding. Consultation with a hematologist may facilitate proper evaluation and treatment, particularly in adults with rare bleeding disorders or no identifiable cause for bleeding. This article reviews the diagnostic approach to hematologic laboratory abnormalities and abnormal bleeding in adults, as well as basic preventive care and hemostatic management of adults with bleeding disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Blood Coagulation Disorders; Blood Platelet Disorders; Coagulation Protein Disorders; Partial Thromboplastin Time; Prothrombin Time

PMID:
25002009
DOI:
10.3122/jabfm.2014.04.130227
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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