Blood Home > Hemophilia Symptoms
For people with hemophilia, symptoms commonly include bleeding and bruising. The first symptoms many children experience include such things as heavy bruising and bleeding from the gums as they cut their baby teeth. In severe cases, symptoms most commonly include internal bleeding in the joints, signs of which usually include tightness in the joint, pain, and swelling in the affected area. Symptoms of hemophilia in older children and adults may also include bleeding or bruising in the soft tissue and muscles, unexplained nosebleeds, and blood in the urine.
Hemophilia is a rare, inherited bleeding disorder. Approximately 18,000 people in the United States have this disorder. People with hemophilia may bleed for a longer period of time following an injury or accident; they may also bleed internally, especially in the joints (such as the knees, ankles, and elbows). Common symptoms of hemophilia include bleeding and bruising.
An injury (like a cut) to a blood vessel causes a complex chain of events that will result in a blood clot. Clotting is your body's reaction to bleeding to keep you from losing too much blood. Losing too much blood can be life threatening and can damage your internal organs.
Clotting factors are proteins in the blood that work with platelets -- small blood cell fragments -- to help the blood to clot. When blood vessels are damaged, clotting factors help the platelets stick together to plug cuts and breaks at the site of the injury.
In people with hemophilia, blood does not clot as it should due to missing or low levels of one of these clotting factors. If this occurs, there may be heavy blood loss or injured body tissues and organs, which can result in permanent damage or even death.