When you bleed, a series of reactions take place in the body that helps healthy blood clots form. This is called the coagulation cascade. The process involves special proteins called coagulation or clotting factors. You may have a higher chance of excess bleeding if one or more of these factors is missing. Factor VII deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough of a blood clotting protein called factor VII. Most often the lack of factor VII is caused by:
Low vitamin K due to long-term use of antibiotics, bile duct obstruction, or poor absorption of vitamin K from the intestines. Some babies are born with vitamin K deficiency.
Severe liver disease
Use of drugs that prevent clotting (anticoagulants such as warfarin or Coumadin)
It is very rare to be born with factor VII deficiency cause by the body's inability to make working factor VII.
Gailani D, Neff AT. Rare coagulation factor deficiencies. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 139.
Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.