It takes more than medicine...

first aid being applied to a boys knee

Do You Know the Symptoms of a Bleed?

By Michelle Lowe, BSN, RN-BC, Director of Nursing

Published December 17, 2019


Whether you’re a mom, a dad, a school nurse, or a daycare provider, knowing the signs of a bleed can help a child recognize and treat a bleed when it begins. Those with severe hemophilia may experience bleeds frequently enough to recognize the symptoms early, but for anyone with mild or moderate hemophilia, they may not know because they don’t experience bleeds as frequently.

Look for these symptoms to help identify a potential bleed:

  • Heat from the body part that is causing discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Guarding or not using a limb
  • Limping

If a child is experiencing these symptoms, treat the area with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), and contact the child’s parent or guardian.

Some bleeds can be life-threatening. If a child with an inherited bleeding disorder is experiencing the following symptoms, call 911 immediately and treat with factor if available and trained:

  • Head/intracranial: Nausea, vomiting, headache, irritability, drowsiness, confusion, or loss of consciousness
  • Neck and throat: Difficulty swallowing or breathing, pain, or swelling
  • Abdominal or gastrointestinal tract: Pain, tenderness, swelling, or blood in stool
  • Iliopsoas muscle (the inner hip muscle that allows you to flex the thigh at the hip joint): Back pain, thigh tingling or numbness, or decreased hip range of motion.

If you would like to know more or have one of our nurses provide a presentation, please contact us at 770-518-8272.