Hemophilia: Bleeds to watch out for

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Teens living with hemophilia can learn how to watch out for nose bleeds and blood in the urine.

Two types of bleeds in hemophilia to pay extra attention to are nosebleeds because they can interfere with breathing and blood in the urine.

Nosebleed

If a nosebleed interferes with the breathing airways, it can actually be life-threatening. If your nosebleed begins to interfere with breathing, go the nearest emergency room immediately.

What to do when you get a nosebleed:

  • Pinch the lower part of your nose for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Release your fingers slowly. Your nose is like two domes made out of cartilage and skin. This makes it both firm and elastic, and can spring open to its original shape. If you release too quickly, you can cause the clot to break.
  • Do your best to keep your finger out of there!
  • Medicines like tranexamic acid or DDAVP may be enough to stop nose bleeds.
  • Avoid hot drinks and vigorous activity for 24 hours after the bleed.
  • Keep your head elevated above your heart level for 24 hours.
  • Humidity and vaseline can help reduce dryness around your nose. If you do not have a humidifier, place a large bowl of water in your room. The water evaporates, making the air in your room moist.

Blood in the urine

Blood in the urine is called hematuria. If you experience this, try to remain calm; like the other bleeds, hematuria is manageable.

Usually, blood in your kidneys causes blood to leak into your urine. This can happen if you have hit the area around your kidneys very hard. But blood in the urine does not always indicate a kidney bleed. There are many, non-hemophilia related reasons why you might have blood in your urine. Your doctor can run tests to find out what is causing your hematuria. It is important that you do not use tranexamic acid (Cyklokapron) with this type of bleed. It can cause unwanted and painful clots to form in the kidneys and bladder. If you experience this type of bleed, you should always seek medical attention.

Last updated: March 13th 2019