Bleeding complications are a source of morbidity after Berlin EXCOR VAD implantation yet remain poorly characterized. We evaluated our experience to describe the bleeding complications among pediatric VAD recipients. We hypothesized that those with bleeding requiring exploration had abnormal coagulation profile compared with those without bleeding. The retrospective study included 43 consecutive patients with end-stage heart failure supported on pediatric mechanical cardiac support as a bridge to transplantation. Day-/event-based analysis on factors below associated with (i) bleeding and (ii) bleeding in next 48 h. Cases with bleeding were compared with day-matched patients without bleeding complications. Among 43 subjects bleeding occurred in 47% of cases, which necessitated exploration or chest tube placement. Twenty of 34 interventions for bleeding occurred in the first seven post-operative days. No differences in coagulation parameters or use of antiplatelet agents were noted among those who had bleeding vs. those who did not. Our results indicate that (i) re-bleeding requiring re-exploration was common, (ii) most of the bleeding occurred early post-implantation, (iii) there were no differences in coagulation parameters or the use of antiplatelet agents within 48 h of bleeding compared with those who did not bleed on each successive post-operative day. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.