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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hemophilia?

The major signs and symptoms of hemophilia are excessive bleeding and easy bruising.

Excessive Bleeding

The extent of bleeding depends on how severe the hemophilia is.

Children who have mild hemophilia may not have signs unless they have excessive bleeding from a dental procedure, an accident, or surgery. Males who have severe hemophilia may bleed heavily after circumcision.

Bleeding can occur on the body's surface (external bleeding) or inside the body (internal bleeding).

Signs of external bleeding may include:

  • Bleeding in the mouth from a cut or bite or from cutting or losing a tooth
  • Nosebleeds for no obvious reason
  • Heavy bleeding from a minor cut
  • Bleeding from a cut that resumes after stopping for a short time

Signs of internal bleeding may include:

  • Blood in the urine (from bleeding in the kidneys or bladder)
  • Blood in the stool (from bleeding in the intestines or stomach)
  • Large bruises (from bleeding into the large muscles of the body)

Bleeding in the Joints

Bleeding in the knees, elbows, or other joints is another common form of internal bleeding in people who have hemophilia. This bleeding can occur without obvious injury.

At first, the bleeding causes tightness in the joint with no real pain or any visible signs of bleeding. The joint then becomes swollen, hot to touch, and painful to bend.

Swelling continues as bleeding continues. Eventually, movement in the joint is temporarily lost. Pain can be severe. Joint bleeding that isn't treated quickly can damage the joint.

Bleeding in the Brain

Internal bleeding in the brain is a very serious complication of hemophilia. It can happen after a simple bump on the head or a more serious injury. The signs and symptoms of bleeding in the brain include:

  • Long-lasting, painful headaches or neck pain or stiffness
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Sleepiness or changes in behavior
  • Sudden weakness or clumsiness of the arms or legs or problems walking
  • Double vision
  • Convulsions or seizures
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Hemophilia Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Hemophilia, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

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Visit Children and Clinical Studies to hear experts, parents, and children talk about their experiences with clinical research.

 
July 31, 2013 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.

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