Blood Clotting Disorder Bleeding Treatment

Bleeding disorders are also known as coagulation disorders. People who suffer from bleeding disorders cannot properly form blood clots. Thus, they can suffer from severe bleeding from even minor cuts. Also, people with bleeding disorders run the risk of internal bleeding or hemorrhage.

There are a number of bleeding disorders. Some of the more common include:

  • hemophilia
  • hypoprothrombinemia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • Von Willebrand’s disease.

While some people who suffer from coagulation disorders will show symptoms, others will not. Bleeding disorder symptoms will vary depending on the type of coagulation disorder from which you suffer. Common symptoms of bleeding disorders include:

  • bloody stools
  • bloody vomit
  • excessive bleeding during surgery
  • fatigue
  • heavy menstrual flow in women
  • nosebleeds
  • severe bruising.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you have a bleeding disorder. However, it is important to point out that many people who have bleeding disorders won’t exhibit any symptoms. Thus, it is important for you to visit your doctor regularly, especially if coagulation disorders run in your family.

Although bleeding disorders can be life-threatening, there are a number of medications a person can take and many lifestyle changes a person can make in order to reduce bleeding disorder symptoms and complications.

In this section, we’ll discuss bleeding disorder treatment. We’ll offer information on the medications that are available to treat bleeding disorders. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each and also list the effectiveness of the treatments. In addition, we’ll offer tips on lifestyle changes people can make to reduce the risk of complications from bleeding disorders.

Desmopressin

Desmopressin is a medication that is similar to a hormone that is naturally found in the body. While desmopressin is often used to prevent and control excessive urination, thirst and dehydration, it is also beneficial in preventing people who suffer from mild to moderate hemophilia from experiencing bleeding during dental and minor surgical procedures. In addition, it can treat mild bleeding episodes.

Desmopressin works by increasing the amount of clotting factor VII in a person’s blood. The effectiveness of the medication will vary from person to person.

Side effects of desmopressin include:

  • congestion
  • fatigue
  • fluid retention
  • flushing of the face and neck
  • headaches
  • increase in pulse and/or blood pressure.

People who have severe cases of hemophilia, patients who are less than 1 year old and people who have serious injuries should not take desmopressin.

Physical Therapy

In addition to taking medication, there are certain exercises a person can perform in order to reduce the symptoms of their bleeding disorder. In addition, physical therapy can reduce a person’s risk of developing complications from coagulation disorders.

For instance, people with hemophilia should follow a physical therapy regimen and get regular exercise in order to improve and maintain muscle strength. Having strong muscles will protect and cushion the joints, reducing the chance of bleeding in the joints.

Most people with hemophilia will benefit from:

  • bicycling
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • walking.

Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or physical therapy.

Corticosteroids and Immune Globulin

People who suffer from the autoimmune disorder idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) may benefit from corticosteroids or intravenous immune globulin:

  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids help regulate the immune system.
  • Intravenous Immune Globulin: Intravenous immune globulin contains a high number of antibodies.

If you suffer from ITP, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of corticosteroids and immune globulin.

Resources

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. (2007). Desmopressin. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the MedlinePlus Web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a682876.html.

Fackler, Amy (2005). Desmopressin acetate for hemophilia. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the Yahoo! Health Web site: http://health.yahoo.com/ency/healthwise/hw190088.

Odle, Teresa (2002). Coagulation disorders. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the HealthAtoZ Web site: http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/coagulation_disorders.jsp.

University of Iowa Health Care (2005). Blood Disorders: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Or Autoimmune Thrombocytopenia). Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the University of Iowa Health Care Web site: http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/cancercenter/blooddisorders/idiopathicthrombo.html.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (2006). About Hemophilia: Hemophilia FAQs. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the Hemophilia Village Web site: http://www.hemophiliavillage.com/about_faq.asp.