Where can bleeding occur?

Bleeding in people with haemophilia can happen anywhere in the body, including beneath the skin. Bleeds inside the body are most common in the joints or muscles and may occur for no apparent reason.9 This spontaneous bleeding usually only happens in severe haemophilia. Spontaneous bleeding in the joints typically affects the ankles, elbows and knees, and often appears around the age of one, when the child starts to walk and move around.9 Signs of bleeding in the joints are pain, stiffness, warmth and swelling.9 Muscle bleeding is usually more difficult to see; the muscles are located so far beneath the skin that bruising is often not visible unless related to an injury, trauma or knock to the body part. Common signs are pain and restricted movement.

Bleeding in the head or brain is rare but particularly serious as it can cause seizures and paralysis. Signs include a severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting and confusion.12 You should call an ambulance if you suspect it. You should also contact a healthcare professional following any severe blows to the head.

If you suspect internal bleeding it is always best to seek advice from a healthcare professional, especially in the beginning when you may not be familiar with all the signs.