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Haemorrhage

It is normal for people to bleed when they get injured. This can happen when you are injured in an accident or get hurt due to other factors. However, bleeding can not only happen externally as everyone knows and it can also bleed internally without showing any symptoms outside. This situation of uncontrolled bleeding leads to Hemorrhage and it can create a lot of health complications when proper treatment is not provided to stop the bleeding. The detection of internal haemorrhage itself is a huge task when symptoms are not obvious. Many injuries do not show external signs even though there can be great damage inside the body due to bleeding. This can be fatal when excessive bleeding happens in the brain region as it can lead to stroke and other complications. In this article, let us look into how haemorrhage can be identified and this makes it easy to choose the best treatment depending on the nature of the injury.

 

Types of Hemorrhage

There are two major classifications of haemorrhage. One is external which is visible and can be easily treated. The other one is internal which is difficult to notice and it can be dangerous.

External haemorrhage: This usually happens due to external injury and you can notice bleeding for an extended duration. When the bleeding does not stop on its own even after a few minutes of injury, it is time to approach a doctor as it can lead to severe blood loss and complicate the entire situation. The first thing you need to do in this situation is to provide first aid and try to stop the bleeding.

Internal haemorrhage: The biggest problem with this type of haemorrhage is that it is difficult to notice and it can lead to organ failure in extreme cases. In this situation, blood is usually noticed in urine or stools. Some people may also notice blood coming from the nostrils or the vagina when they are coughing and this indicates some amount of internal haemorrhage. As soon as you notice any symptoms, you should immediately visit a doctor and get yourself examined for any possible threats.

Other types: Hemorrhage can occur anywhere inside the body and when it happens due to post-surgical complications, it is called postoperative haemorrhage. Any bleeding that occurs after a major injury is termed Reactionary haemorrhage. Bleeding can even occur after childbirth and it is called postpartum haemorrhage. When bleeding occurs in the stomach, it is called hematemesis. Apart from these, you can even notice capillary haemorrhage, arterial haemorrhage and venous haemorrhage.

 

Symptoms of Hemorrhage

It is very easy to notice external haemorrhage as the bleeding will be significant and it does not usually stop for a long duration.

It can be caused due to wounds or other health conditions and you will notice abnormal bleeding for a long time.

However, the symptoms of haemorrhage are difficult to understand when the injury is internal as you will have to go by the symptoms of the after effects rather than the main cause of the problem.

- In this situation, many people often experience a headache and a stiff neck when the bleeding is near the head region.

- Remember that these symptoms are generic and you should not confuse them with haemorrhage all the time.

- Along with this, you will also notice confusion and slurred speed with general weakness which can also indicate the symptoms of stroke.

- If you often feel short of breath and your head spins for no reason, you should consult a doctor who can examine your body for haemorrhage symptoms.

- Due to excessive blood loss in some situation, the blood pressure can easily drop to abnormal levels all of a sudden and this is a common symptom of this condition.

- It is normal to notice blood in the stools and urine when you have an internal haemorrhage.

 

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Causes of Hemorrhage

- Trauma: This is often the most obvious cause and you will notice that any injury to the body will be painful even if you are not bleeding externally. In this situation, you should not take it lightly as it can be a blunt trauma that has caused damage inside your body and you may be bleeding internally without your knowledge. Only a medical examination will determine this condition and you should immediately approach a doctor for further diagnosis. If left alone, this can also be fatal in many cases.

- Fractures: In most cases, fractures and other injuries are the main causes of haemorrhage in people. When you break a bone, the bone marrow can get ruptured and this leads to a lot of blood loss inside the body. However, you may not notice external bleeding in this situation. Apart from that, you should also be aware that fractures can put a lot of pressure on the surrounding organs and lead to damage of blood vessels in the affected area. All these conditions can lead to haemorrhage.

- Pregnancy: if you notice any bleeding during your pregnancy, you should never take it lightly as it can also be the symptom of miscarriage. Other than that, vaginal bleeding also indicates serious health issues and you should always go for a thorough examination of this condition. Due to various other complications during pregnancy, women develop internal bleeding and this can be treated with proper medication in most cases.

- Complications due to surgery: Many people develop haemorrhage a few days after surgery as the blood vessels in the surrounding area can get damaged due to surgery and this show symptoms after a few days. When the initial trauma is inflicted on the surrounding blood vessels, they will become numb and this does not show any immediate signs of internal bleeding. However, after a few days, they may begin to bleed leading to haemorrhage condition.

- Medication and Alcohol: In many cases, excessive consumption of alcohol and using certain medication can lead to internal bleeding or exaggerate the existing condition in the body. This happens due to the thinning of blood vessels in the body after consuming large doses of alcohol and medication. Other than that, these issues also decrease the ability of the body to clot blood in a natural way and this increases the chances of developing internal haemorrhage.

 

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Diagnosis of Hemorrhage

- Physical examination: This is best suited when the haemorrhage is visible and bleeding can be noticed directly with the naked eye. The common symptoms include uncontrolled bleeding for a long duration. In this situation, the doctor ascertains that the cause of bleeding and determines whether it is haemorrhage or any other internal injury. In the case of an internal haemorrhage, the diagnosis of haemorrhage is done by checking the other symptoms. It becomes difficult to come to a conclusion when the bleeding is internal and further tests are required to confirm internal haemorrhage.

- Blood Test: For people suffering from internal haemorrhage, blood loss could be higher and could possibly lead to anaemia and general weakness. When such symptoms are noticed, it is a good idea to go for a blood test to determine the number of red blood cells and to diagnose if there is any internal bleeding. When combined with other symptoms, this diagnosis can give good clarity for the doctors.

Imaging Test: Finally, the confirmation about internal haemorrhage comes from imaging tests and they are widely used when bleeding is in the abdominal region. Different fibre optic tubes with cameras are inserted to find the source of bleeding and even the treatment can be done during this process by burning the blood vessels that are damaged. When the diagnosis has to be done in the brain area, a CT scan is beneficial as it can identify any fractures or swell in the brain region. Even an ultrasound test is done to diagnose if there is any bleeding in certain regions of the abdomen. When the diagnosis is to be done for suspected bleeding in the artery, using angiography will be very useful as it can identify the blood flow in the arteries and see if there is any damage in that region.

 

Prevention of Hemorrhage

The simple way to prevent haemorrhage is to prevent any injury be it external or internal. Remember that internal bleeding also happens mostly due to external factors and this can be prevented in the same way that you prevent external injuries. As soon as there is any trauma due to injury, you should approach the doctor and get yourself examined for haemorrhage. This helps the doctors control the internal bleeding in the initial stages and it doesn’t lead to haemorrhage complications in the future.

Treatment for Hemorrhage

- The treatment depends on the area where bleeding is not controlled and doctors need to carefully diagnose the entire problem.

- Once the vital organs of the patient are functioning appropriately, the doctors look into the extent of damage and analyze the rate at which bleeding is happening inside the body.

- If it is too much, an immediate surgery is performed depending on the area affected.

-  In some cases, when the bleeding is in the abdominal region, the blood vessels that are damaged can be burnt using colonoscopy techniques to provide immediate relief to the patients.

- In other cases, when bleeding is in the head region, the treatment for haemorrhage needs to be provided carefully and surgery is the last option to provide permanent relief.

- Even medication is used in many cases to control the bleeding and to help doctors work on the affected area without further damage.

- In cases where bleeding happens after any major surgery, mild medication may stop the bleeding in most cases.

 

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Complications of Hemorrhage

-  Depending on the severity of bleeding inside the body, the complications can be many and patients need to exercise caution when dealing with a haemorrhage.

-  When the bleeding is present in the brain region, it may not cause any damage in the initial stages. However, going forward, it can even lead to stroke and even coma when treatment is not given at the right stage.

-  It can also affect different functions of the brain and the person can easily get affected due to this condition.

- When bleeding happens in the abdomen region, it can affect the functioning of other organs and may lead to fatigue and other symptoms.

- The ability of the body to carry oxygen reduces drastically due to the bleeding and this affects the proper functioning of various organs in the long run.

- In extreme cases, it can even lead to complete organ failure and the patient can even die due to excessive blood loss.

 

Myths about Hemorrhage

Myths #1: Haemorrhage control through pressure

This technique will not always work as the pressure needs to be applied in the proper manner and only a medical professional will be able to do it with proper equipment. When you are giving first aid, do not try to apply unnecessary pressure to control bleeding as it may do more damage than good for the patient.

 

Myths #2: No need to worry when symptoms not visible

This approach is entirely wrong as you may not get clear symptoms about internal haemorrhage. In many cases, you can even get a haemorrhage after a few weeks after the surgery. In this situation, you should understand that blood loss can be all of a sudden without any proper symptoms and you should always take it seriously as it can be fatal when treatment is not given at the right time.

 

Conclusion

In most cases, haemorrhage can be easily controlled with proper treatment and there is no risk to life unless there is significant blood loss in the brain or heart region. When the diagnosis is done early, it becomes easy to control the damage and the issue can be easily resolved in quick time. When you carefully follow the guidelines given by your doctor with regards to maintaining your health, you can easily control haemorrhage after surgery or any other trauma. Make sure that you eat a healthy diet so that your blood vessels will function normally and the body will be able to clot the blood whenever it is required in future.

 

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Last updated on : 25-10-2018

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