Internal Bleeding is Often Life-Threatening

Although rare, bleeding within vital internal organs or structures may occur in people with hemophilia. These types of bleeds are often life-threatening and require immediate emergency treatment.

Symptoms of such internal bleeding can be difficult to recognize. The IHTC provides guidance and training so that patients and their families know what to look for.

Internal Bleeding Symptoms: What to Look for


  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
Any time there is a minor head injury, call the IHTC immediately at 317.871.0000 because people with hemophilia who experience head bleeds won’t always present these initial symptoms.


  • Neck-swelling or tongue-swelling that may cause blockage of the airway
  • Problems with breathing

Spinal cord

  • Weakness, tingling, or pain in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty with urination or bowel movements
  • Back pain

Internal organs (such as stomach, liver, spleen, or intestine)

  • Blood in vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Black tar-colored stools

If you or your family member needs to visit the emergency department, contact the IHTC prior to going—or as soon as possible after you arrive—so that our team can help you get the best possible care.