Characteristic symptoms vary with severity. In general symptoms are internal or external bleeding episodes, which are called "bleeds". Patients with more severe hemophilia suffer more severe and more frequent bleeds, while patients with mild haemophilia typically suffer more minor symptoms except after surgery or serious trauma. Moderate haemophiliacs have variable symptoms which manifest along a spectrum between severe and mild forms.
Prolonged bleeding and re-bleeding are the diagnostic symptoms of haemophilia. Internal bleeding is common in people with severe haemophilia and some individuals with moderate haemophilia. The most characteristic type of internal bleed is a joint bleed where blood enters into the joint spaces.
- Deep internal bleeding, e.g. deep-muscle bleeding, leading to swelling, numbness or pain of a limb.
- Joint damage, potentially with severe pain and even destruction of the joint and development of arthritis.
- Transfusion transmitted infection from blood transfusions that are given as treatment.
- Adverse reactions to clotting factor treatment, including the development of an immune inhibitor which renders factor replacement less effective.
- Intracranial hemorrhage, is a serious medical emergency cause by the buildup of pressure inside the skull. It can cause disorientation, nausea, loss of consciousness, brain damage, and death.
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