Severe Complications of Hemophilia

Severe Complications of Hemophilia and Treatment

Complications of hemophilia are problems that this bleeding disorder causes directly or indirectly. Some of these conditions are preventable, and because of that, it is essential to educate yourself about them and follow your doctor’s recommendations for optimal treatment.

Severe Complications of Hemophilia

Joint Damage

This is a common complication of hemophilia that usually come about as a result of the injury of the cartilage (tissues that act as a shock absorber) and the synovium.

The severity of the damage determines the cartilage’s vulnerability to bleeding. The more the damage, therefore, the more the joints become vulnerable to bleeding. This complication is more common in older adults with severe hemophilia given that there were no preventive treatments in the near past. With modern treatments, it is possible to ensure children growing up with this condition today will not have this complication.

The best treatment for his health problem is surgery. If your synovium is damaged, you doctor can remove it so a new one can grow in its place. However, if the entire joint has been damaged, your doctor can replace the whole of it with an artificial one, and you can continue leading a normal life.


Another severe complication is inhibitors, which can make treating hemophilia less effective. Approximately 20-30 percent of people who undergo treatment for severe hemophilia A develop this complication. Inhibitors usually develop during the first year of treatment. But they can as well develop at any time.

People with hemophilia B rarely develop inhibitors. But if these patients do, they could experience life-threatening anaphylaxis during treatment. Those with moderate or mild hemophilia A often require a test for inhibitors around every three to six months. If a person with hemophilia B experiences an allergic reaction to treatment, testing is required in such a case as well.

There are many ways of managing inhibitors if they persist, but it is often temporary.
Blood in the Urine (Hematuria)

This is a common complication for people suffering from this condition. But if it is treated appropriately, it is usually not dangerous. A blood clot in the urethra can bring about severe pain in the lower abdomen since it blocks urine from flowing out of the bladder naturally.

Viral Infections

Approximately 90 percent of people with severe hemophilia in the 1980s were HIV infected, and almost all of them who used factor products before 1988 were infected with Hepatitis C (HCV). A major complication of treatment for most patients back then was blood-borne infections. Factor products were manufactured at that time using large plasma donor pools, but this processes lacked specific tests for infectious agents and, therefore, resulted in the loss of many lives.

Today, however, a new manufacturing and screening process is in force, and factor products are considered safe. Scientists have created clotting factor from animal cells, which have never been known to transmit pathogens of any kinds. With the advanced testing and viral inactivation processes in use today, the risk associated with using plasma-driven products is very low.

Compartment Syndrome

This syndrome is a rare complication that develops when bleeding in the muscles put too much pressure on arteries and nerves inside the muscles. If it affects the arteries in the heart, it can expose the patient to great danger. If not treatment in time, it can cause severe injuries to the limb and in the worst case scenario, death.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

This complication involves blessing inside the head. It often results from head injury and can be very dangerous, particularly if it cause brain damage. It can result in mental problems or death. Seeking urgent medication attention is always the best remedy.