What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a genetic disorder involving an abnormality or deficiency in the blood’s clotting factor. Because of this lack in clotting factor, people with hemophilia are prone to excessive and internal bleeding.
About 90% of cases are labeled as Type A hemophilia, which involves the lack of clotting factor VIII. About two-thirds of patients that suffer from this type are considered severe cases. Type B hemophilia meanwhile refers to the lack of clotting factor IX.
Hemophilia is genetic; meaning it runs in families. If an immediate family member or a relative has this illness, then one has a great chance of contracting the same. Commonly affected by this illness are boys that inherit a defective X chromosome from their mothers. Girls meanwhile may carry the defective gene but usually do not have the symptoms. Most of reported hemophilia cases are said to be inherited. But rare types can be acquired by means of some mutation in the genes.
Typical symptoms of hemophilia include too much bleeding and easy bruising. These symptoms may vary depending on the damage of the blood’s clotting factor. Bleeding may also be internal or external. Internal bleeding may be suspected if a person notices blood in the urine or stool. Some may also experience joint pain, tightness, or swelling, which may indicate bleeding in the joints. Excessive external bleeding on the other hand may be noticed during tooth extraction, during nosebleeds, and/or when a person’s bleeding seemed heavy after a minor cut.
Treatment of hemophilia involves a form of replacement therapy, wherein patients are given the blood-clotting factors they lack. These blood-clotting factors may be sourced from various blood donors. If these clotting factors from human blood donations are not available, doctors may also use synthetic versions. As with other medical management procedures, replacement therapy also has its side effects. Great care must be taken to ensure proper guidelines are followed to make the treatment effective.