The coagulation system is a complex network of interacting proteins and cells with extensive sensitivity, amplification and control pathways. The system represents a delicate balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant as well as profibrinolytic and antifibrinolytic activities. Clinically relevant phenotypes, e.g. bleeding and thrombosis, occur immediately when this balance is no longer in equilibrium. A correct understanding of the complex coagulation pathophysiology in the perioperative setting is essential for an effective treatment. In a bleeding patient, patient's history, clinical findings, routine and advanced laboratory coagulation testing as well as point-of-care coagulation monitoring help to reliably and readily identify the underlying coagulation disorder. Modern coagulation management is proactive, individualized, balanced and follows clearly defined algorithms. Coagulopathic bleeding can be successfully controlled with specific interventions in the coagulation system.