A severe coagulopathy following volume replacement with hydroxyethyl starch in a Jehovah's Witness



Blood volume was maintained by an infusion of hydroxyethyl starch 2000 ml (Hespan: HES) during and for the first 28 hours after a major orthopaedic operation in a 13-year-old girl who was a Jehovah's Witness. This was responsible for a generalised clinical haemorrhagic state, an acquired coagulopathy associated with a shortened thrombin, prolonged prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin times, and an acquired von Willebrand syndrome. The coagulation, after cessation of the infusion of HES, did not become normal until approximately 72 hours later.