Beware of Blood Disorders and Keep Your Blood Clotting!

By: Editor in Illness on 10-11-2017

A bleeding disorder is a type of condition that affects the way that the blood in your body clots. Blood clotting changes your blood from a liquid to a solid. If you are injured your blood will clot to prevent you from losing a lot of blood. Some conditions affect the way that blood clots which may result in heavy bleeding and bleeding that takes a long time to stop.

Bleeding disorders occur when blood doesn’t clot properly. For blood to clot properly, your body requires certain proteins and blood cells. The proteins are called clotting factors and the blood cells are called platelets. Platelets join to form a solid at the site of a damaged blood vessel. The clotting factors form a clot to keep the platelets in place and blood from being released. In people who have a bleeding disorder, the platelets or clotting factors do not work the way that they should or there isn’t enough of them to effectively create a clot. A bleeding disorder can cause extreme bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop.

Bleeding disorders are often inherited. Some bleeding disorders may develop because of liver disease, a low red blood cell count, a vitamin K deficiency, and certain medications. A few of the most common bleeding disorders include hemophilia A and B, Factor II, V, VII, X, or XII, and von Willebrand's disease.

The symptoms of a bleeding disorder vary depending on what type of disorder it is. Common symptoms of bleeding disorders include easy bruising, heavy menstrual bleeding, nosebleeds, excessive bleeding from wounds and unexplained bruises.

You should make an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Your doctor will run a variety of blood tests to diagnose a bleeding disorder which may include a complete blood count, a platelet aggregation test, and a bleeding time test.

The treatment depends on the type of bleeding disorder. Treatments are aimed to provide relief from symptoms. Common treatments include iron supplements, blood transfusion, blood transfusions, nasal sprays, topical products, factor replacement therapy, and fresh frozen plasma transfusions.

Hematoma

A hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. Hematomas may occur in many different locations of the body including spinal, under the nail (finger or toe), ear, and liver. Hematomas may occur for a variety of reasons including due to injuries, diseases, medications, blood cancers, alcohol abuse, pelvic bone fractures, blood clots and more. The symptoms of a hematoma depend on where it is located. A few of the most common symptoms include bruises, headache, seizures, back pain, confusion, loss of bladder control, loss of bowel control, nail loss, abdominal pain and more. The treatment of a hematoma depends on what area of the body is affected. Some hematomas do not require any treatment, and others may be a medical emergency.

Superficial hematomas which include the skin and soft tissue are often treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Hematomas that because symptoms may require treatment including medication, surgical drainage, and lifestyle changes.

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder. Hemophilia causes your blood to not clot properly because it lacks certain proteins called clotting factors. People who suffer from hemophilia may bleed excessively and for a long time after being injured because their blood does not clot properly. Internal bleeding from hemophilia can cause damage to your organs and tissues and may be fatal if not treated. Hemophilia is a genetic disorder. There is currently no cure for hemophilia but there are many treatment options that can help you to manage the disorder. The symptoms of hemophilia vary greatly depending on the level of clotting factors found in the blood.

Severe hemophilia may cause spontaneous bleeding which may include the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained or excessive bleeding from small cuts, after dental work or surgery

  • Large bruises

  • Bleeding after vaccinations

  • Joint pain and swelling

  • Blood in urine or stool

  • Nosebleeds

If the following symptoms are experienced medical attention should be sought right away:

  • Sudden pain and swelling in large joints

    • Knees, elbows, arm and leg muscles, hips, shoulders and more

  • Prolonged or excessive bleeding from injury

  • Severe headache

  • Continuous vomiting

  • Double vision

  • Neck pain

  • Fatigue

There are several types different types of hemophilia, which are classified based on deficient clotting factor. The types of hemophilia include:

  • Hemophilia A

    • Caused by an insufficient clotting factor VIII

  • Hemophilia B

    • Caused by an insufficient clotting factor IX

  • Hemophilia C

    • Symptoms are mild

    • Caused by an insufficient clotting factor XI

There are some complications of hemophilia which may include deep internal bleeding, joint damage, infection and an adverse reaction to clotting factor treatment.

Treatment for hemophilia may include regular infusions of DDAVP, clot-preserving medications, physical therapy, and vaccinations.