European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 171, Issue 2, pp 207-214

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Clinical practice

The bleeding child. Part II: Disorders of secondary hemostasis and fibrinolysis
  • Femke van HerrewegenAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Hematology, Emma Children’s Hospital AMC
  • , Joost C. M. MeijersAffiliated withDepartment of Vascular and Experimental Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam
  • , Marjolein PetersAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Hematology, Emma Children’s Hospital AMC
  • , C. Heleen van OmmenAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatric Hematology, Emma Children’s Hospital AMC Email author 


Bleeding complications in children may be caused by disorders of secondary hemostasis or fibrinolysis. Characteristic features in medical history and physical examination, especially of hemophilia, are palpable deep hematomas, bleeding in joints and muscles, and recurrent bleedings. A detailed medical and family history combined with a thorough physical examination is essential to distinguish abnormal from normal bleeding and to decide whether it is necessary to perform diagnostic laboratory evaluation. Initial laboratory tests include prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time. Knowledge of the classical coagulation cascade with its intrinsic, extrinsic, and common pathways, is useful to identify potential defects in the coagulation in order to decide which additional coagulation tests should be performed.


Activated partial thromboplastin time Bleeding Fibrinolysis Pediatrics Prothrombin time Secondary hemostasis