Information for Patients
Also called: Clotting disorders
Normally, if you get hurt, your body forms a blood clot to stop the bleeding. For blood to clot, your body needs cells called platelets and proteins known as clotting factors. If you have a bleeding disorder, you either do not have enough platelets or clotting factors or they don't work the way they should.
Bleeding disorders can be the result of other diseases, such as severe liver disease or a lack of vitamin K. They can also be inherited. Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder. Bleeding disorders can also be a side effect of medicines such as blood thinners.
Various blood tests can check for a bleeding disorder. You will also have a physical exam and history. Treatments depend on the cause. They may include medicines and transfusions of blood, platelets, or clotting factor.
- Bleeding disorders (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Bleeding time (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Prothrombin time (PT) (Medical Encyclopedia)
Factor XI deficiency Factor XI deficiency is a disorder that can cause abnormal bleeding due to a shortage (deficiency) of the factor XI protein, which is involved in blood clotting. This condition is classified as either partial or severe based on the degree of deficiency of the factor XI protein. However, regardless of the severity of the protein deficiency, most affected individuals have relatively mild bleeding problems, and some people with this disorder have few if any symptoms. The most common feature of factor XI deficiency is prolonged bleeding after trauma or surgery, especially involving the inside of the mouth and nose (oral and nasal cavities) or the urinary tract. If the bleeding is left untreated after surgery, solid swellings consisting of congealed blood (hematomas) can develop in the surgical area.Other signs and symptoms of this disorder can include frequent nosebleeds, easy bruising, bleeding under the skin, and bleeding of the gums. Women with this disorder can have heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) or prolonged bleeding after childbirth. In contrast to some other bleeding disorders, spontaneous bleeding into the urine (hematuria), gastrointestinal tract, or skull cavity are not common in factor XI deficiency, although they can occur in severely affected individuals. Bleeding into the muscles or joints, which can cause long-term disability in other bleeding disorders, generally does not occur in this condition.