Blood Clotting Disorder

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder that prevents your blood from forming normal blood clots. This condition can result in prolonged bleeding after an injury or spontaneous bleeding that starts for no reason. Internal bleeding is also a common concern.

Your blood contains 13 proteins, called clotting factors, that help your body form blood clots.

Hemophilia is caused by low levels of the substances known as factor VIII and factor IX. The rare blood disorder mostly affects males, but females can be hemophilia carriers and pass the gene to their children.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

The symptoms of hemophilia vary depending on your clotting factor levels and where in the body the bleeding occurs.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding in your mouth and gums
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever
  • Frequent, heavy nosebleeds
  • Heavy or prolonged bleeding after an injury or accident
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Large, unexplained bruises
  • Skin discoloration
  • Swelling under your skin and between your muscles

Specialized bloodwork is often used to diagnose hemophilia. Blood tests may include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) – the size and number of red and white blood cells and platelets
  • Factor VIII activity test – measures the activity of the blood clotting factor VIII
  • Factor IX activity test – measures the activity of the blood clotting factor IX
  • Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) – a specialized blood clotting test
  • Prothrombin time (PT) – measures how long it takes the liquid portion of your blood, called plasma, to clot

There is no cure for hemophilia, but complications and/or symptoms can often be minimized with proper treatment and precautions.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Comprehensive, Compassionate Care

Penn State Health provides specialized screening, testing, treatment and management for numerous bleeding disorders, platelet dysfunction and disorders, and rare coagulation factor deficiencies. We are one of only 145 hemophilia centers in the nation and the only facility in central Pennsylvania with advanced expertise in bleeding disorders.

Our unique facilities include:

  • Comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Center
  • Hematology Laboratory
  • Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center of Central Pennsylvania
  • Women and Girls Bleeding Disorder Clinic

Our medical team is consistently recognized nationally through the 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, German and Japan, among others.

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