Coagulopathy

Coagulopathy is also known as bleeding disorder and it represents a condition in which the blood fails to coagulate. This condition can cause excessive bleeding, also known as bleeding diathesis. The excessive bleeding may occur as a consequence of an injury or medical and dental procedures.

What Can Cause Coagulopathy?

Coagulopathy appears when the blood is not able to clot properly. In order to clot the blood, your body needs blood proteins. These proteins are also known as clotting factors and the blood cells are called platelets. Whenever a blood vessel gets damaged or injured, the platelets clump together to form a plug. Then the clotting factors come together and form a fibrin clot. This keeps the platelets in place and prevents blood from flowing out of the blood vessel.

When a person is dealing with bleeding disorders or coagulopathy, the clotting factors do not work properly. In this case, the blood does not clot and excessive bleeding appears. It can also lead to spontaneous or sudden bleeding in your muscles, joints, or other parts of your body.

Coagulopathy is inherited in most of the cases. There are though some bleeding disorders that may develop as a result of other medical conditions, such as liver disease.

Bleeding disorders may also be caused by:

  • a low red blood cell count
  • a vitamin K deficiency
  • side effects from certain medications

Medications that can interfere with the clotting of the blood are called anticoagulants.

 Types of Bleeding Disorders

The most common bleeding disorders are the following:

  • Hemophilia A and B appear when there are low levels of clotting factors in your blood. It causes heavy or unusual bleeding into the joints. Though hemophilia is rare, it can have life-threatening complications.
  • Factor II, V, VII, X, or XII deficiencies are bleeding disorders related to blood clotting problems or abnormal bleeding problems.
  • von Willebrand’s disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. It develops when the blood lacks von Willebrand factor, which helps the blood to clot.

What Are the Symptoms of Coagulopathy?

The most common symptoms that a person with coagulopathy has, are the following:

  • unexplained and easy bruising
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • excessive bleeding from small cuts or an injury
  • bleeding into joints

When you notice any of the symptoms above, you should call your doctor as soon as possible. He will be able to diagnose your condition and help you prevent complications.

How Is Coagulopathy Diagnosed?

Whenever a doctor will examine your symptoms, he will first ask you about your medical history. This is why, during the appointment you should mention if you are dealing with any of the following situation:

  • any medical conditions you currently have
  • any medications or supplements you may be taking
  • any recent falls or trauma
  • how often you experience the bleeding
  • how long the bleeding lasts
  • what you were doing before the bleeding began

As soon as your doctor will understand your medical history, he will run several blood tests in order to establish the exact diagnosis:

  • a complete blood count (CBC), which will help him to measure the amount of red and white blood cells in your body
  • a platelet aggregation test, which checks how well your platelets clump together
  • a bleeding time, which determines how quickly your blood clots to prevent bleeding

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