People with haemophilia can have bleeding episodes, called 'bleeds'. This can happen as a result of injury or medical and dental procedures like surgery, or may happen for no apparent reason.
Most bleeds are internal, into joints, such as knees and elbows, or muscles. If internal bleeding is not stopped quickly with treatment, it will result in pain and swelling.
The person with the bleeding disorder will often be able to tell they are having a bleed before signs are visible. They get to know the way a bleed 'feels'. There are many signs of a bleed. These include but are not limited to: warmth, swelling from the affected area and bruising.
Over a period of time, repeated bleeding into joints and muscles can cause permanent damage, such as arthritis in the joints, and chronic pain.
Bleeds into the head, spine, neck, throat, chest, stomach or abdominal area are much less common but can be life-threatening. If this happens, the person with haemophilia should attend an emergency medical centre immediately and their Haemophilia Treatment Centre should also be contacted.