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Eur J Pediatr. 2012 Feb;171(2):207-14. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1571-x. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Clinical practice: the bleeding child. Part II: disorders of secondary hemostasis and fibrinolysis.

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Department of Pediatric Hematology, Emma Children's Hospital AMC, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Bleeding complications in children may be caused by disorders of secondary hemostasis or fibrinolysis. Characteristic features in medical history and physical examination, especially of hemophilia, are palpable deep hematomas, bleeding in joints and muscles, and recurrent bleedings. A detailed medical and family history combined with a thorough physical examination is essential to distinguish abnormal from normal bleeding and to decide whether it is necessary to perform diagnostic laboratory evaluation. Initial laboratory tests include prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time. Knowledge of the classical coagulation cascade with its intrinsic, extrinsic, and common pathways, is useful to identify potential defects in the coagulation in order to decide which additional coagulation tests should be performed.

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