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Haemophilia – Are you a Bleeder?

Written by Courteney

Posted on May 1, 2016 at 7:03 pm


Haemophilia is a hereditary blood-thinning condition that prohibits the body from producing enough clotting factors to form platelets. Because haemophiliacs have blood that doesn’t clot well, there is nothing to slow the blood when the person gets injured. This could lead to the person ‘bleeding out’ much quicker than the average person, making it a potentially dangerous condition. The three main types of haemophilia are type A, B, and C, each has a problem with different clotting factors and responds differently to treatment. About 80% of haemophiliacs are type A. The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) attests that one in every 10,000 people are affected by haemophilia.

Symptoms

Symptoms range in severity, including:

  • Extreme bleeding, even with a small cut
  • Bleeding gums and nosebleeds
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness or irritability
  • Joint pain and discomfort
  • Easy and excessive bruising
  • Internal bleeding
  • Blood in urine or stool

Complications

Over time severe haemophilia can lead to joint damage and destruction (from continual bleeding around the joints). In some cases, a whole joint may need to be replaced with an artificial one. Internal damage from recurrent internal bleeding is another long-term complication of severe haemophilia.

Risk Factors

Haemophilia is an X-linked recessive disease caused by a genetic mutation on the gene responsible for clotting factors. There are rare cases of acquired haemophilia which fall under the category of autoimmune disorders. In these cases, the body attacks healthy cells wreaking havoc on clotting factors, causing haemophilia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Haemophilia is detected and diagnosed through a blood test that will reveal the amount and types of clotting factors present. Treatments for haemophilia differ by type:

Type A: Desmopressin hormone injections

Type B: Genetically engineered synthetic clotting factor medications.

Type C: Plasma infusion

If you suspect you may have undiagnosed haemophilia or have questions about the disorder, feel free to sign up to DocChat for your first consultation with one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians today.

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