Diagnosis and Management of Mild Bleeding Disorders
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Mild bleeding disorders are a common reason for a referral to a hematologist and these conditions can be challenging to evaluate. Recent research has highlighted that some bleeding symptoms are quite common in the general population and that there is clinical variability in symptom expression among individuals with defined bleeding problems. Moreover, bleeding risks for many bleeding disorders are unknown. This article reviews symptoms and problems that can be considered suspicious of a mild form of bleeding disorder and the diagnostic investigations useful to evaluate these problems. A stepwise approach is presented for the diagnostic evaluation, to allow detection of common and rare coagulation and fibrinolytic defects, and adequate assessments of potential von Willebrand factor and platelet problems. Some common problems in the diagnosis and management of mild bleeding problems are reviewed, including the common failure to establish a diagnosis with testing. An approach is proposed for translation of knowledge to patients who are challenged by mild bleeding problems.
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