What is Coagulopathy?

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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Coagulopathy is a condition in which the blood in a person’s body does not clot correctly. It is often referred to as a clotting or bleeding disorder. This type of illness may be the result of genetics or it can be acquired through an injury or disease. There are many different symptoms that are associated with this condition, including excessive bruising and bleeding.

Some of the acquired illnesses that can cause bleeding disorders are leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, antiphospholipid syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and liver failure. A person may also develop a clotting disorder after being bitten by a snake. The reason for this is that certain snakes have coagulopathic agents in their venom, that can prevent the victim's blood from clotting.

Genetic coagulopathy is typically caused by genetic diseases. Hemophilia and Willebrand disease are often associated with disorders in which blood has trouble clotting. In rare instances, certain diseases such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome or Bernard-Soulier syndrome are responsible for coagulopathy. At times, people are simply born without the correct proteins that enable the clotting of blood in their body.


A few of the symptoms that are often associated with this condition are excessive, easy bruising, and internal bleeding that occurs for no reason or internal bleeding after an accident or trauma has occurred. One of the most common symptoms that sufferers notice is the inability of the blood to clot with even minor scrapes and cuts. A person may also find that he has regular nosebleeds, bleeding from the anus, or bowel movements that are black. Bleeding from the gums can also be another sign of a blood clotting disorder.

Some complications may occur with coagulopathy, sometimes making the condition even more difficult to deal with. An adverse reaction to the prescribed type of treatment is one reaction, and some others include joint damage, soft tissue bleeding, retinal bleeding, cerebral hemorrhage, and anemia. Although unlikely in many cases, there is always a possibility of exsanguination, or bleeding to death.

Treatments for a clotting disorder vary. Many times, it is determined by the underlying cause of the coagulopathy. A doctor may inject the body with fresh plasma so that the person is able to clot again. If internal bleeding occurs, other methods may be required, such as surgery. Certain medications may be offered to help with symptoms and the root cause of the bleeding disorder.


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