The optimal management of bleeding or its prophylaxis in patients with disorders of platelet count or function is controversial. The bleeding diathesis of these patients is usually mild to moderate: therefore, transfusion of platelet concentrates may be inappropriate, as potential adverse effects might outweigh its benefit. The availability of several anti-hemorrhagic drugs further compounds this problem, mainly because the efficacy/suitability of the various treatment options in different clinical manifestations is not well defined. In these guidelines, promoted by the Italian Society for Studies on Haemostasis and Thrombosis (Società Italiana per lo Studio dell'Emostasi e della Trombosi [SISET]), we aim at offering the best available evidence to help the physicians involved in the management of patients with disorders of platelet count or function. Literature review and appraisal of available evidence are discussed for different clinical settings and for different available treatments, including platelet concentrates (PC), recombinant activated factor VII, desmopressin, antifibrinolytics, aprotinin and local hemostatic agents.
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