What is blood clotting disorders?

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Clotting factor deficiencies: Overview

Clotting factors are substances in the blood that help stop bleeding after a cut or injury. They also prevent sudden bleeding. In people who have clotting factor problems, the clotting factors don't work right or, in some cases, are missing. When blood does not clot well, even minor injuries can cause serious bleeding. This can lead to blood loss, injury to internal organs, or damage to muscles or joints.

Several conditions, including hemophilia, can make it hard for the blood to clot. Your doctor can treat you by giving you replacement clotting factors. You also may take medicine to prevent bleeding. You may often have clotting factors transfused into a vein to prevent bleeding, or you may get them as needed. You may eventually learn to do this at home. You can also try to prevent injuries that can cause you to bleed.

Bleeding disorders

Bleeding disorders prevent blood from clotting normally when a person is cut or injured. When the blood does not clot normally, even minor injuries can cause significant bleeding, which can lead to excessive blood loss or can damage muscles or joints.

Bleeding disorders occur when there is a problem with various components of the blood, including platelets and clotting factors.

  • Platelets are blood cells that are the first defense against bleeding. They collect at the site of a wound and clump together to help stop the flow of blood.
  • Clotting factors are substances in the blood that help the blood clot when vessels are damaged.

How can you care for your child who has clotting factor deficiency?

  • Have your child take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine.
  • Encourage your child to exercise safely. Avoid contact sports. Your child can swim or walk. Check with your doctor before letting your child do activities—such as riding a bike—that may put your child at high risk for falls.
  • Help your child brush and floss their teeth daily. This may help your child avoid problems that could lead to having a tooth pulled.
  • Do not give your child nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). They can increase the chance of bleeding.
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Take care to prevent accidents at home.
    • Make sure rugs are tacked down so your child does not slip.
    • Keep furniture with sharp edges out of pathways.
    • Use nonskid floor wax.
    • Wipe up spills quickly.
    • If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, sprinkle salt on steps and sidewalks.
    • Make sure your child's shoes are not too big, so that your child does not fall.
  • Have your child wear medical alert jewelry that lists the clotting problem. You can buy this at most drugstores.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.