Joint and Muscle Bleeds
With the use of prophylaxis, the number of joint bleeds that happen in a year are very few, even in those with severe haemophilia. This has significant benefits for the long term protection and function of joints.
What does a bleed feel like?
A bleed into a joint, if untreated, can go on for days. The first sign is a feeling of tightness in the joint but no real pain. The joint may feel a little puffy to the touch. If untreated, the joint may become hot to the touch. Fully range of motion of the joint can become very painful. If the bleed is in a lower limb, weight bearing becomes difficult.
Usually, the joint becomes visibly swollen. As the bleeding continues and the swelling increases, all movement in the joint is lost. After even a few bleeds like this, if left untreated, the joint can become permanently damaged.
How do I treat a bleed?
Nose bleeds are not very common in people with haemophilia and can be the main symptom for those with mild haemophilia. Haemophilia leads to delayed clotting therefore nose bleeds last longer and can be more frequent. They can occur most frequently in childhood and adolescents. If you experience frequent nose bleeds it may be necessary to contact your haematologist.
How do I treat Nose bleeds?
Nose bleeds may be stopped by sitting upright and firmly pinching the widest part of the nostrils together for 10 to 15 minutes. It may be necessary to repeat the procedure a second time. If after 20-30 minutes of persistent bleeding it may be necessary to get medical advise. Some people find that a cold cloth placed on the back of the neck and on the bridge of the nose is helpful in stopping bleeding.
Drinking hot liquids and strenuous exercise can cause the nose bleed to re-start. Therefore, it may be helpful to avoid hot drinks and avoid lifting or straining for 24 hours after a nose bleed.
Can anything be done to prevent nose bleeds?
Yes. Maintaining a certain level of humidity in the home, especially in the individual’s bedroom can help. This is especially important in the winter when heating makes a house much drier. A humidifier is ideal; however, an open bowl of water can also work very well. Using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in the nostrils every day can keep the nostrils from drying and cracking.
Are there any drugs a person with haemophilia disease should not take?
Yes. Certain drugs affect the way platelets plug holes in blood vessels. A person with VWD should never take drugs containing:
• Aspirin (ASA) and any drugs containing aspirin
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen)
Gums that bleed after tooth brushing are a sign of early gum disease which is very common and it is important that this does not progress to more severe gum problems. The recognised treatment is to visit your dentist or hygienist for advice and to have your teeth professionally cleaned and monitored. Your dentist may advise you to use a medicated mouthwash and will recommend methods for brushing and cleaning your teeth more effectively. (Read more)
Menstrual Bleeding and child birth
Women tend to have more symptoms than men do because of the menstrual cycle and childbirth. Heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding is the most common symptom for women with vWD. Some women have heavy bleeding throughout the normal menstrual period. This is called menorrhagia. Other women bleed unpredictably throughout the month. This is called metrorrhagia. (Read More)