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Complications of having a Bleeding Disorder


Complications are problems that develop directly or indirectly by a disease, disorder, or condition. Some of these complications can be prevented, so it is important to educate yourself and follow your doctor’s recommendations for optimal treatment of bleeds.



Joint Damage

The most common complication of hemophilia is joint disease. This occurs when there is repeated bleeding into the joints. Joint bleeds cause pain and discomfort that can lead to chronic swelling and deformity. Many people with hemophilia suffer from arthritis and, in severe instances, may require joint replacement surgery.  Learn more about joint damage.


Approximately 30% of people with hemophilia A and approximately 2-3% of people with hemophilia B develop inhibitors. Inhibitors are antibodies that the body develops because it sees the infused factor as a foreign substance that needs to be destroyed. Antibodies are proteins that eat up the activated factor before it has time to stop the bleeding.  Learn more about inhibitors.

Viral Infection

Factor products today are considered theoretically safe. However, there is always a remote risk of a new virus being introduced into the blood supply and therefore, into the plasma derived factor concentrates. The manufacturing processes currently used are sophisticated and likely to eliminate known and new viruses, so the risk is very low. Learn more about viral infection.

Emotional and Psychological

Feelings are normal and everyone experiences positive and negative feelings at different times in their lives. Being diagnosed with a chronic condition or learning that your child has a chronic condition may make a person feel stressed, sad, and sometimes depressed. It is important to know that these feelings are normal, and it is also critical to know when to seek help if you feel overwhelmed with emotions. Learn more about the emotional and psychological aspects of living with a bleeding disorder.

Assisting and Advocating for the Bleeding Disorders Community