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What Is Bleeding Diathesis?

Bleeding diathesis is a condition characterized by an abnormal tendency to bleed, often due to a defect in the body's coagulation system. This can result from various genetic or acquired disorders affecting blood clotting factors, platelets, or blood vessels. Understanding the underlying causes is crucial for effective management. Curious about how this impacts daily life or treatment options? Keep reading to explore further.
Andy Josiah
Andy Josiah

Bleeding diathesis is a disorder that involves the tendency to hemorrhage, or bleed. Hypocoagulability, which is abnormal clotting of the blood, causes this condition. There are actually several types of bleeding diathesis, ranging from mild to severe. The condition is also known as bleeding tendency or predisposition.

The occurrence is traced to coagulopathy. Also known as clotting disorder or bleeding disorder, it denotes the inability of the blood to form clots in a normal manner. Hypocoagulability is a type of coagulopathy, occurring when blood clotting is too slow.

Cushing's syndrome may contribute to bleeding diathesis.
Cushing's syndrome may contribute to bleeding diathesis.

Hypocoagulability results in the reduction of platelets, which are involved in the blood clotting process. This in turn leads to excessive bleeding. Two factors that can also contribute to this disorder are Cushing's syndrome, or thinning of the skin; and the inability of the body to heal wounds quickly, scurvy being a cause of this.

Acquired forms of bleeding diathesis can be triggered by conditions such as leukemia. This is cancer of the blood or bone marrow that involves the reduction of blood platelets. Additionally, a deficiency of Vitamin K is known to cause massive uncontrolled bleeding.

Bleeding diathesis can also be genetic. Some people do not have the genes necessary for producing coagulation elements. Two prime examples of genetic disorders linked to coagulopathy are hemophilia and von Willebrand disease (vWD).

Individuals suffering from bleeding diathesis should not donate blood.
Individuals suffering from bleeding diathesis should not donate blood.

Hemophilia is a collection of hereditary genetic disorders characterized by lowered levels of blood plasma-clotting factors. vWD, the most common genetic coagulation disorder, concerns the reduction of a multimeric protein needed for platelet adhesion. It is named for the Finnish internist who first described the condition. Much rarer genetic forms of the disorder include Bernard-Soulier syndrome, Glanzmann's thrombasthenia and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

Bleeding in the brain may occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
Bleeding in the brain may occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

The most common symptom is purpura, which is a red or purple spot that occurs when capillaries underneath the skin burst. They can also be called petechiae or ecchymoses, depending on their size. Other signs include excessive nose bleeding, bleeding in the gums, and blood in the stool.

Treatment of bleeding diathesis can vary, since there are different types of the disorder, although all methods are alike in that they aim to reduce the amount of bleeding. Some treatments include plasma exchange therapy, anticoagulants and platelet transfusions. From these treatments, patients may experience complications such as soft tissue bleeding; anemia, or reduction of the red blood cell count; and cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain.

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Discussion Comments

Glasis

Blood is so important to the human body. A disorder like this can raise havoc with your ability to ward off infection in many ways.

When blood doesn't clot, wounds stay open and disease can get in. Blood is a natural cleaning agent as well as the way your body transfers energy and oxygen to the body's various body tissues.

When blood doesn't work the way it is supposed to, it is a life threatening illness.

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    • Cushing's syndrome may contribute to bleeding diathesis.
      By: joshya
      Cushing's syndrome may contribute to bleeding diathesis.
    • Individuals suffering from bleeding diathesis should not donate blood.
      By: Gina Sanders
      Individuals suffering from bleeding diathesis should not donate blood.
    • Bleeding in the brain may occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
      By: Verity Johnson
      Bleeding in the brain may occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
    • Excessive bleeding may make the radial pulse virtually undetectable.
      By: joshya
      Excessive bleeding may make the radial pulse virtually undetectable.
    • A predisposition for some bleeding conditions can be found through genetic testing.
      By: spflaum
      A predisposition for some bleeding conditions can be found through genetic testing.
    • Bleeding diathesis can be genetic.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Bleeding diathesis can be genetic.
    • Excessive nose bleeding may be a sign of bleeding diathesis.
      By: britta60
      Excessive nose bleeding may be a sign of bleeding diathesis.
    • If someone with a bleeding disorder suffers a cut or abrasion, immediate medical attention may be necessary.
      By: WideAwake
      If someone with a bleeding disorder suffers a cut or abrasion, immediate medical attention may be necessary.
    • Seemingly minor injuries may lead to uncontrollable bleeding in children suffering from hemophilia.
      By: soupstock
      Seemingly minor injuries may lead to uncontrollable bleeding in children suffering from hemophilia.