Throat and Neck Bleeds
People with severe bleeding disorders, especially hemophilia, can have bleeding into the throat, neck, tongue, floor of the mouth, or wall of the cheek. The bleeding may quickly get worse and must be treated right away! If blood is allowed to build up, it can block a person's airway so he can't breathe.
Signs that you may be having a throat or neck bleed:
- Swelling in the neck.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Trouble breathing.
- A change in skin color over your neck or throat.
- Coughing up or throwing up blood without a nosebleed or mouth bleed. Swallowed blood upsets the stomach and makes you throw up.
- A change in the tone of your voice which may be noticed by you or by others.
How to treat a throat or neck bleed:
- A person with hemophilia should take factor concentrate to raise his level to 80% to 100% for hemophilia A or 60% to 80% for hemophilia B. Call your hemophilia doctor or HTC.
- Continue taking factor to keep your level at 50% until the symptoms are gone or until your doctor says you can stop.
Remember these things, too:
- Mouth bleeds (from small cuts in the mouth or around the gums) are different from throat and neck bleeds. A bleed inside the mouth is usually not serious unless it doesn't stop or occurs in a young child.
- Bleeding into the throat or neck can cause swelling which can block your windpipe. If you can't breathe, you will die.
- Throat bleeding may happen after a bad coughing spell, tonsillitis, or even a common cold.
- A bruise under the tongue can spread down into your neck.
- Throat or neck bleeding may be mistaken for mumps.
- Losing a lot of blood can lead to anemia (low blood) or even shock.
- You should take factor before the dentist gives you a shot in your jaw or gums for numbing medicine. Call your HTC before you go to the dentist unless it is for a cleaning only. The nurse at the HTC can tell you what to do to prevent a bleed.
- Chopping and softening your food in a blender for a day or so after a throat bleed will help keep you from hurting your throat more.
How to prevent throat and neck bleeds:
- Try not to have a bad coughing spell.
Call your doctor or treatment center if:
- You have any of the signs of a throat or neck bleed. Your doctor needs to check you right away because a throat or neck bleed can be very dangerous. The blood can build up and block your windpipe. You need to take factor as soon as you think you might be bleeding.