Hemophilia in children lifespan warning signs concussion

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder. Children with hemophilia can’t stop bleeding because they don’t have enough clotting factor in their blood. Clotting factors are needed for blood to clot. Blood clots to prevent excessive bleeding.

The severity of hemophilia depends on the amount of clotting factors in the blood. Those affected with hemophilia that have levels greater than 5% (100% being average for unaffected children) most often have bleeding only with major surgeries or tooth extractions. These children may not even be diagnosed until bleeding complications from a surgery occur.

Severe hemophilia is when the factor VIII or IX is less than 1%. Bleeding can occur in these children, even with the minimal activities of daily life. Bleeding may also occur from no known injury.

Bleeding most often occurs in the joints and in the head.

• Bruising. Bruises can occur from even small accidents. This can result in a large build up of blood under the skin causing swelling (hematoma). For this reason, most children are diagnosed around 12 to 18 months of age. This is when the child is more active.

• Bleeding into a joint. Hemarthrosis (bleeding into a joint) can cause pain, immobility, and deformity if not treated. This is the most common site of complications due to hemophilia bleeding. These joint bleeds can lead to chronic, painful, arthritis, deformity, and crippling with repeated occurrences.

• Bleeding into the muscles. Bleeding into the muscles can cause swelling, pain, and redness. Swelling from excessive blood in these areas can increase pressure on tissues and nerves in the area. This can cause permanent damage and deformity.

• Bleeding in the brain from injury or spontaneously. Bleeding from injury, or spontaneously in the brain, is the most common cause of death in children with hemophilia and the most serious bleeding complication. Bleeding in or around the brain can occur from even a small bump on the head or a fall. Small bleeds in the brain can result in blindness, intellectual disability, a variety of neurological deficits. It can lead to death if not spotted and treated right away.

• Complete blood count (CBC). A complete blood count checks the red and white blood cells, blood clotting cells (platelets), and sometimes, young red blood cells (reticulocytes). It includes hemoglobin and hematocrit and more details about the red blood cells.

• Receiving special care before surgery including dental work. Your child’s doctor may advise factor replacement infusions. These increase the child’s clotting levels before the procedures. Your child may also get the specific factor replacement infusions during and after the procedure. These maintain the clotting factor levels and to improve healing and prevention of bleeding after the procedure.

When you should call will vary based on how severe your child’s condition is and what treatment he or she is getting. Since hemophilia is a long-term condition, talk with your child‘s healthcare provider about when you should call or get medical treatment for your child.