Inadequate bile flow interferes with vitamin K absorption, contributing to ecchymosis, hematuria, and other bleeding. Yellow sclera results from failure of bile to enter the intestines, with subsequent backup into the biliary system and diffusion into the blood. The bilirubin is carried to all body regions, including the skin and mucous membranes. Pain in the right upper quadrant occurs especially after eating foods high in fat and is characteristic of acute cholecystitis and biliary colic. With obstructive jaundice the stool is clay colored, not dark brown; the presence of bile causes stool to be brown. When bile levels in the bloodstream are high, as in obstructive jaundice, there is bile in the urine, causing it to have a dark color.
One of the many functions of the liver is the manufacture of clotting factors; there is interference in this process with cirrhosis of the liver, resulting in bleeding tendencies. The storage of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, folic acid, and cobalamin), and minerals (including iron) is compromised in cirrhosis; therefore, these nutrients, including phytonadione, should not be limited. Should the client bleed, the pulse rate may be increased, but it is not necessary for the client to check the pulse rate several times daily. A client whose prothrombin time is prolonged and platelet count is low should not be taking aspirin, even with milk.