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We studied 235 patients admitted to an adult intensive care unit in order to determine the incidence and cause of coagulation disturbances. Clinical coagulopathy, defined as bleeding unexplained by local or surgical factors, was identified in 13.6% of patients. Laboratory evidence of coagulopathy was more common: a prothrombin time (PT) ratio > or = 1.5 was found in 66% of patients and a platelet count <100 x 10(9)/l in 38% of patients. Both factors were predictive of excessive bleeding and poor outcome. In a retrospective analysis of plasmas from 45 of the above patients who had PT ratios > or = 1.5 the most common cause was vitamin K deficiency (20%).

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





460 - 463


Blood Coagulation Disorders, Female, Humans, Intensive Care Units, Length of Stay, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Retrospective Studies, Thrombin Time, Thrombocytopenia, Vitamin K Deficiency