Heavy or Prolonged Bleeding

Bleeding disorders are conditions that affect your body's ability to form blood clots. For your blood to clot, your body needs platelets and proteins known as clotting factors. If you don't have enough platelets and clotting factors, or if they don't work correctly, you may experience heavy, prolonged bleeding after an injury. In some cases, bleeding may also occur for no reason. Excessive bleeding can happen both externally and internally.

At Penn State Health, our benign hematologists offer specialized care for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders through a designated, comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) serving central Pennsylvania.

Causes of Bleeding Disorders

There are two main causes of bleeding disorders:

  • Acquired bleeding disorder - these are a side effect of certain medications and illnesses that interrupt or prevent a healthy blood clotting process.
  • Inherited bleeding disorders - genetic or inherited conditions, such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease, are genetic, which means they are passed down through your family.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Bleeding disorders symptoms vary according to your specific illness.

Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and review of your personal and family medical history to diagnose a bleeding disorder. Specialized bloodwork may include:

  • Clotting factor assays: specialized blood clotting tests measure the level of circulating clotting factor activity in your bloodstream. There are 13 major clotting factors. Testing is done on any of these that may be indicated by other bloodwork and your family history.
  • Platelet function test: platelet aggregation and other blood tests evaluate the function of platelets *thrombocytes), which are small blood cells needed for clotting.
  • Other specialized tests as needed

If left untreated, bleeding disorders can be dangerous. They may increase the risk of developing serious health challenges after an injury or during menstruation, childbirth or surgery.

Experts in Care

Meet our doctors, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.

Find a doctor near you

Why Choose Penn State Health Bleeding Disorders Care

Penn State Health hematology specialists and subspecialists provide advanced testing, treatment and management for full spectrum of bleeding disorders. These include platelet dysfunction and disorders, and rare coagulation factor deficiencies.

Comprehensive Care

We are one of only 149 hemophilia centers in the nation and the only facility in central Pennsylvania with advanced expertise in bleeding disorders

Our unique facilities include:

Our medical team is consistently recognized nationally through Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors awards. Our specialists also participate in worldwide conferences and speaking engagements in countries including India, Korea, Germany, Japan and others.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a location near you