Causes of Blood Clotting Disorders
Thrombophilia, also know as blood clotting disorder, causes an alteration in a patient’s blood clotting process, which results in excessive blood clotting. Clotting is a natural and essential process that helps to stop bleeding in the event of injury to the blood vessels. This bodily response involves a balanced chain reaction of various chemicals in the blood, known as clotting factors, which together make the blood solidify and stick to the injured area. However, in patients with thrombophilia, the balance of these chemicals is irregular. There can either be too much or too little of a clotting factor and the types of conditions that can result will vary.
There are many specific thrombophilia causes, however, they can be broken into two broad categories:
- Acquired – Certain conditions acquired during a person’s lifetime can trigger excessive blood clotting. These conditions can result from behaviors like smoking or illnesses like cancer. Antiphospholipid syndrome, a condition that can arise and cause complications during pregnancy, is one example of acquired thrombophilia.
- Inherited – There are numerous thrombophilia causes which are the result of genetic factors passed from a parent to their child. For example, patients with Factor V Leiden (a mutation that increases the chance of abnormal blood clotting, typically in the lungs or legs) have a genetic defect that causes the coagulation process to go on longer than is normal. Other types of inherited thrombophilia include prothrombin gene mutation, protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, and antithrombin deficiency.
Tampa General Hospital’s physicians take a multispecialty approach to treating blood clotting disorders. By utilizing the most advanced technologies, we ensure that the assessment of our patients’ conditions is accurate and is used to form the most effective treatment plans. Though not common, thrombophilia sometimes causes more serious medical conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis and stroke. Our team has extensive experience providing timely, life-saving interventions. Treatments that our physicians may recommend for blood clotting disorders include preventative therapy and blood thinning medications.
To be referred to a specialist with Tampa General Hospital, please visit our online Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).