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For Authors Continuing Education
Vol. 72, No. 9
ISSN: 1488-2159
November 2006


Bleeding Disorders: Characterization, Dental Considerations and Management


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• Sara Israels, MD, FRCPC •
• Nora Schwetz, RN, BSc •
• Ron Boyar, RM, DMD, MSc •
• Archie McNicol, BSc, PhD •

A b s t r a c t

Hemostasis is a finely balanced process in which an insult to a blood vessel wall, either by injury or surgical intervention, stimulates a pair of parallel, yet associated, pathways that lead to the termination of blood loss. The coagulation cascade is initiated by the interaction between exposed subendothelial tissue factor and circulating blood and includes a series of amplification steps that result in thrombin generation. Concurrently, exposed subendothelial collagen stimulates platelets, which, in the presence of thrombin, are consolidated by fibrin to form a blood clot, thus terminating blood loss. Multiple inherited and acquired abnormalities in these pathways can seriously compromise hemostasis. Furthermore, several drugs, including over-the-counter preparations, also adversely affect hemostasis. These present significant concerns to the dentist conducting invasive procedures as they can prolong postoperative bleeding, impair wound healing and increase risk of infection. In this article, we review the current knowledge of bleeding abnormalities and discuss preoperative systemic precautions and intraoperative hemostatic measures.


MeSH Key Words: blood coagulation/physiology; blood coagulation disorders/complications
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