Recognising types of serious bleeds

Recognising the early signs of a bleed is important so that it can be treated as quickly as possible.Ideally this should occur before overt swelling and pain develops in the affected joint or muscle to help prevent permanent damage.

The signs that you are having a bleed may vary depending on the location of the bleed. If you have any questions about recognising signs of bleeding, contact your Haemophilia Treatment Centre.

Recognising joint bleeds:

  • Initially, you may experience a tingling sensation and tightness within the joint, often described as an ‘aura’.
  • If the joint is not treated, it will become increasingly warm over the affected area and discomfort with movement will occur, particularly at the ends of range.
  • This is usually followed by pain at rest, swelling, tenderness, and extreme loss of motion.
  • Children may avoid using their arm or leg or they might cry for no other obvious reason.

Recognising muscles bleeds:

  • Initially, you may experience aching in the muscle and want to keep the affected limb in a position that you find comfortable.
  • If the muscle is not treated, pain will occur when the muscle is stretched or contracted.
  • This is usually followed by tension and tenderness upon touch and possible swelling.
  • Children may avoid using their arm or leg or they might cry for no other obvious reason.

Recognising brain bleeds:

  • A brain bleed is a serious medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
  • Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, clumsiness or weakness of an arm or leg, sensitivity to bright light, feeling drowsy, seizures or loss of consciousness.

 Recognising the early signs of a bleed is important so that it can be treated as quickly as possible.If you have any questions about recognising serious bleeds, contact your Haemophilia Treatment Centre for additional information.

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