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Hemophilia (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for Hemophilia

  • Call your doctor after any significant physical trauma.
  • Call your doctor also if you cannot control external bleeding with simple pressure.
    • Because you may have internal as well external bleeding, always err on the side of safety and call your doctor.
    • Be particularly concerned about bleeding into your joints or your central nervous system because of long-term complications and the possibility of death.
  • Because hemophilia treatment involves blood products, you often may need to be treated in an emergency department or other health care facility, especially if you have severe hemophilia.
  • Your doctor should evaluate any head or spinal trauma.
  • A severe hemophiliac should be evaluated at a hospital's emergency department for any bleeding whatsoever, because his or her blood will not clot adequately on its own in these situations:
    • Oral bleeding
    • Bleeding from skin that does not stop with simple pressure
    • Bleeding from muscles and joints
  • Any person with hemophilia who has significant trauma anywhere on the body should be evaluated at a hospital regardless of the severity of the disease.
  • Talk with your doctor before undergoing any surgeries, invasive treatments, or invasive tests.

What are the exams and tests for hemophilia?

A family history of bleeding disorders aids in diagnosing hemophilia. But certain tests help quantify the disease.

  • Pronounced bruising at childbirth or bleeding with circumcision may suggest a case of severe hemophilia.
  • A moderate case of hemophilia may become apparent during the toddler years when falls are common.
  • A mild case may not become evident until adulthood when you need surgery.
  • Blood tests can be performed if you have any reason to suspect hemophilia.
    • Blood may be checked directly for certain factors.
    • Test results will be low depending on which form of hemophilia you have.
    • In either case, your activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), a measurement of the clotting of blood, will be prolonged.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/27/2016
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