Hemophilia is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that stops the body’s ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. Hemophilia lowers the blood plasma levels that are needed so clotting can occur to slow down or stop bleeding. Instead of a scab forming (which is what happens usually when a cut or scrap occurs) a hemophiliac continues to bleed, this bleeding could continue for days, weeks or months. Though a hemophiliac does not bleed out more blood, the amount of time for the bleeding to stop takes way longer than it would for a non-hemophiliac.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
In most cases hemophilia is not noticed until a person has some abnormal bleeding or tested when there is a known family history of the condition. Some extreme cases of hemophilia include bleeding into the joints or internal bleeding which can be fatal. Diagnosis of hemophilia is important in case surgery is ever needed; the doctor knows what precautions to take for the patient.
The human body has 12 clotting factors that work together to help stop bleeding. These clotting factors are numbers using roman numerals I – XII (1-12) having not enough of factors VIII (8) and IX (9) is what causes hemophilia. A hemophiliac will only lack one factor VIII or IX, not both.
There are 2 types of hemophilia. Hemophilia type A is the most common effecting factor VIII (8). Hemophilia type B effects factor IX (9).
The most common type of bleeding of a hemophilic is bleeding of the joints and muscles. A young child with hemophilia may refuse to move, walk or crawl because of pain and swelling of the joints. A baby who has just start crawling, may have some bruising on the belly, knees or back as a result of being a hemophiliac, but no one may have noticed it until then. Before diagnosis, some parents of hemophiliac children have been accused of child abuse because of the significant bruising.
Though hemophilia is rare, pregnancy screenings are very important, especially if you are aware that you or your spouse have family members who are affected with this disorder.
Education about this disorder does not seem to be priority in the medical field in the Arab world, so awareness about the disorder is important.
Hemophilia is a lifelong disease but with proper care an individual can live a comfortable life.