Coagulopathy is a potential problem for many critically ill patients, placing them at risk for hemorrhage. Critical illness activates both hemostasis and the inflammatory-immune system, leading to both physiological and potentially pathophysiological responses. Following complex surgery or trauma, patients are at high risk for development of problems such as thrombocytopenia and postoperative bleeding, challenging nurses to recognize and manage these problems. The clinical manifestations of coagulopathy may be obvious or occult, and correlation with the coagulation panel results is a complex process. Transfusion of blood and components has long been an important part of patient management, but is known to put patients at risk for transfusion-related complications. Current clinical practice guidelines provide blood conservation strategies and criteria to guide decisions on transfusion therapy.

You do not currently have access to this content.