Pre-operative coagulopathy management of a neonate with complex congenital heart disease: A case study

Alfred H. Stammers, Eric D. Rauch, Lynne D. Willett, Jamie W. Newberry, Kim F. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Severe coagulation defects often develop in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery, both as a result of the surgical intervention, and as pre-existing defects in the hemostatic mechanisms. The following case report describes a newborn patient with complex congenital heart disease and respiratory failure whose pre-operative coagulopathy was aggressively managed prior to surgical correction. A 5-day-old, 2.5 kg child presented with interrupted aortic arch, ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus. On admission, he was in respiratory arrest suffering from profound acidemia. In addition, the child was hypothermic (30.1°C), septic (Streptococcus viridans). and coagulopathic (disseminated intravascular coagulation - DIC). The patient was immediately intubated and initial coagulation assessment revealed the following: prothrombin time (PT) 48.9 s (international normalized ratio (INR) 15.7). activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) > 106 s, platelet count 30,000 mm3, fibrinogen 15 mg dL-1 and antithrombin. Before cardiac surgery could be performed, the patient's DIC was corrected with the administration of cryoprecipitate(15 ml). fresh frozen plasma (300 mi), and platelets (195 ml). In spite of the large transfusion of fresh frozen plasma, the AT-III activity, measured as a percentage, remained depressed at 33. Initial thromboelastographic (TEG) determination revealed an index of +2.02, and following 100 IU administration of an AT-III concentrate, declined to -2.32. Sequential TEG profiles were performed over several days, with the results used to guide both transfusion and medical therapy. The congenital heart defect correction was subsequently performed with satisfactory initial results, but the patient developed a fungal infection and expired on the 16th post-operative day. The present case describes techniques of coagulation management for a newborn with both a severe hemostatic defect and congenital heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Safety Research
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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