This retrospective, observational study compared the impact of a point-of-care rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM®) method versus conventional bleeding management in terms of postoperative (24-h) blood loss, intraoperative and postoperative (24-h) transfusion requirement and length of stay in the postoperative intensive care unit (ICU) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Forty consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery under ROTEM®-guided hemostatic management were enrolled; the control population included 40 selected patients undergoing similar interventions without ROTEM® monitoring. Significantly more patients in the thromboelastometry group versus the control group received fibrinogen (45 vs 10 %; p < 0.0001), while fewer received a transfusion (40 vs 72.5 %; p < 0.0033). Compared with control group patients, those in the thromboelastometry group had less postoperative bleeding (285 vs 393 mL; p < 0.0001), a shorter time from cardiopulmonary bypass discontinuation to skin suture (79.3 vs 92.6 min; p = 0.0043) and a shorter stay in the ICU (43.7 vs 52.5 h; p = 0.0002). In our preliminary experience, ROTEM®-guided bleeding management was superior to conventional management of bleeding in patients undergoing complex cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass in terms of reduced postoperative blood loss, transfusion requirement, and length of ICU stay.