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Bleeding

Also called: Hematoma, Hemorrhage

Summary

Bleeding is the loss of blood. It can be external, or outside the body, like when you get a cut or wound. It can also be internal, or inside the body, like when you have an injury to an internal organ. Some bleeding, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, coughing up blood, or vaginal bleeding, can be a symptom of a disease.

Normally, when you are injured and start bleeding, a blood clot forms to stop the bleeding quickly. Afterwards, the clot dissolves naturally. To be able to make a clot, your blood needs blood proteins called clotting factors and a type of blood cell called platelets. Some people have a problem with clotting, due to another medical condition or an inherited disease. There are two types of problems:

  • Your blood may not form clots normally, known as a bleeding disorder. This happens when your body does not make enough platelets or clotting factors, or they don't work the way they should.
  • Your blood may make too many clots, or the clots may not dissolve properly

Sometimes bleeding can cause other problems. A bruise is bleeding under the skin. Some strokes are caused by bleeding in the brain. Severe bleeding may require first aid or a trip to the emergency room.

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