On this World Hemophilia Day, let us take the opportunity to come together and support those who are suffering from this inherited bleeding disorder.“Light it up Red”is an initiative to include 40 landmarks around the world lit in RED for the World Hemophilia Day. let’s come together to show our support for the millions who are affected by this bleeding disorder.
What Is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a disorder that leads to excessive bleeding; it is an inherited bleeding disorder. In Hemophilia a person lacks or has low levels of certain proteins called “clotting factors” and the blood doesn’t clot properly. One in every 10,000 people are born with this disease. This rare but serious condition can have life-threatening complications. Since, hemophilia is an inherited genetic condition it is not curable but can be treated to minimize symptoms and prevent future health complications.
All the three types are caused by certain deficiency factors.
- Hemophilia A is the most common type of hemophilia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), tells, eight out of 10 people with hemophilia have hemophilia A.
- Hemophilia B, which is also called Christmas disease, is caused by a certain deficiency factor
- Hemophilia C is a mild form of the disease. People with this rare type of hemophilia often don’t experience spontaneous bleeding. Hemorrhaging typically occurs after trauma or surgery.
The degree of symptoms depends on the severity of the factor deficiency. Usually, people with mild deficiency may bleed in the case of trauma, some may bleed without reason called as “spontaneous bleeding” In children with hemophilia, these symptoms may occur around age 2.
Spontaneous bleeding can cause the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the stool
- Deep bruises
- Large, unexplained bruises
- Excessive bleeding
- Bleeding gums
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Pain in the joints
- Tight joints
- Irritability (in children)
What actually causes Hemophilia?
Normally our body has a process called “the coagulation cascade” which stops bleeding. Blood platelets coagulate, or gather together at the wound site, to form a clot. This is how the body’s clotting factors work together to create a more permanent plug in the wound. A low level of these clotting factors or the absence of them causes bleeding to continue.
How Is Hemophilia Diagnosed?
All it takes a blood test to diagnose hemophilia. The doctor will take a small sample of blood from your vein and measure the amount of the clotting factor present. The sample is then graded to determine the severity of the factor deficiency:
- Mild hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma that’s between 5 and 40 percent.
- Moderate hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma that’s between 1 and 5 percent.
- Severe hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma of less than 1 percent.
Complications Associated with Hemophilia?
- Joint damage from repetitive bleeding
- Deep internal bleeding
- Neurological symptoms from bleeding within the brain
How is Hemophilia Treated?
Hemophilia A is treated with a prescription hormone. This medication works by stimulating the factors responsible for the process of blood clotting.
Hemophilia B is treated through blood transfusion from a donor with clotting factors. Sometimes, the factors may be given in the synthetic form. These are called “recombinant clotting factors.”
Hemophilia C can be treated by a doctor using plasma infusion. The infusion works to stop profuse bleeding.
Hemophilia cannot be cured, however, people with hemophilia should take the following precautions:
- Avoid taking aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Get vaccinated (including infants) with the hepatitis B vaccine.
- Avoid circumcising male infants of women known to be carriers until the baby has been tested for hemophilia.
- Carry information at all times identifying the person as someone with hemophilia.