Assessment of perioperative bleeding disorders, especially those related to platelet dysfunction, remains a clinical challenge. The management of the bleeding patient in the operating theatre or on the postoperative ward is often empirical with little scientific basis. Much of the reason for this is that conventional clotting studies are not immediately available and there is a perceived urgency, particularly among trainee doctors, to treat bleeding disorders without first establishing the exact nature of the coagulopathy. SCT provides useful information on platelet function, particularly in patients after cardiopulmonary bypass, and has enabled practitioners to rationalize the management of bleeding disorders and not expose their patients to the risks of unnecessary transfusion of blood products. Undoubtedly further studies are required before this instrument can be used reliably in the clinical setting but it may prove to be a useful addition to the available techniques for monitoring perioperative bleeding disorders.