Point-of-care haemostasis and coagulation monitoring in cardiac surgery at IRCCS Policlinico San Donato

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A rational management of perioperative and postoperative bleeding in modern cardiac surgery requires a thorough application of point-of-care (POC) monitoring in order to prevent and readily treat alterations of the haemostatic process. Preoperative platelet dysfunction, residual heparin after extracorporeal circulation, coagulation factors, and/or fibrinogen deficiency could be ruled out and specifically addressed with an appropriate treatment. Our approach includes preoperative platelet function testing of patients administered with thienopyridines or ticagrelor within 7-10 days before planned surgery and platelet function testing-based surgery timing. In the case of postoperative bleeding, residual heparin is tested and additional protamine is eventually administered. Simultaneously, an overall activity of coagulation factors (except fibrinogen) is assessed and, if significantly reduced, correction with prothrombotic complex concentrate is considered. If fibrinogen deficiency is suspected, a specific test is run, and in the case of severe reduction, the deficiency is compensated by fibrinogen concentrate or appropriate volume of fresh-frozen plasma. If both coagulation factors and fibrinogen activity are reduced, fibrinogen is usually considered for correction as first line, followed by prothrombin complex concentrate in the case of further bleeding. It is our clinical practice not to test nor to treat patients until postoperative bleeding appears clinically relevant. At IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, we firmly believe in the importance of the POC-based strategy for haemostatic treatment and constantly update our knowledge through research projects targeted in answering clinically relevant questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E42-E48
JournalEuropean Heart Journal, Supplement
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2016


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Haemostasis
  • Platelet aggregometry
  • Point-of-care
  • Thromboelastography
  • Thromboelastometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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