Monitoring prohemostatic treatment in bleeding patients

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Acutely bleeding patients are commonly found in the trauma and major surgery scenarios. They require prompt and effective treatment to restore an adequate hemostatic pattern, to avoid serious and sometimes life-threatening complications. Different prohemostatic treatments are available, including allogeneic blood derivatives (fresh frozen plasma, platelet concentrates, and cryoprecipitates), prothrombin complex concentrates, specific coagulation factors (fibrinogen, recombinant factor XIII, recombinant activated factor VII), and drugs (protamine for patients under heparin treatment, desmopressin, antifibrinolytics). For decades, prohemostatic treatment of the acutely bleeding patient was based on empirical strategies and clinical judgment, both in terms of a correct diagnosis of the mechanism(s) leading to bleeding, and of an assessment of the effects of the treatment. This empirical strategy may lead to excessive or unnecessary use of allogeneic blood products, as well as to an incorrect, inefficacious, or even dangerous treatment. Different monitoring devices are nowadays available for guiding the diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making process in an acutely bleeding patient. This review addresses the available tools for monitoring prohemostatic treatment of the bleeding patient, with a specific respect for point-of-care tests (thromboelastography, thromboelastometry, platelet function tests, and heparin monitoring systems) at the light of the existing evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • coagulation factors
  • desmopressin
  • fresh frozen plasma
  • platelet function analyzers
  • thromboelastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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