What is hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a mostly inherited genetic disorder. Individuals with such disorder can bleed abnormally without apparent cause. The bleeding occurs because their plasma (the fluid part of their blood) lacks a protein. Without the protein, their blood cannot clot easily as normal people.
There are two types of hemophilia:
• Hemophilia A (classic hemophilia).
It occurs in about 80% of people with hemophilia. It results from lacking factor VIII (a plasma protein), which helps blood clot.
• Hemophilia B (Christmas disease). It is less common and occurs in about 20% of people with hemophilia. It results from lacking factor IX (a plasma protein), which helps blood clot.
What are the symptoms of hemophilia?
Generally, infants from family with no hemophilia history would not be tested for the condition. Otherwise, specific tests can be done from an umbilical cord blood sample to see if a newborn infant has hemophilia. In fact, such testing can be done before the birth of a child under the desire of the family .
In moderate to severe hemophilia, most boys present with bleeding within their first 18 months of life. Symptoms in infants and children include:
• Head bleeding during birth
• Bruised or swollen joints or muscles when learning to walk
• Joint bleeding without consciousness
• Easily getting bruised from minor bumps
• Bloody urine or stools
• Frequent nose bleeds or gum bleeds from teething or tooth brushing
For mild hemophilia, no noticeable symptoms may appear before you undergo a dental procedure, a surgery or get injured in an accident.
What are the causes of hemophilia?
• Inheritance. Most hemophilia runs in families.
• Genetic mutation. About 30 percent of people with hemophilia have no family history of the disorder. Among them, an unexpected change occurs in one of the genes associated with hemophilia.
What are the treatments for hemophilia?
Treatments for hemophilia include:
• Clotting factors replacement therapy
• Curation for joint bleeding and other problems associated with hemophilia
The treatments you need depend on the type and the severity of hemophilia. For mild hemophilia, treatment is needed only when you've been injured or in preparation for surgery. But for severe hemophilia, regular treatment may necessary.
How to prevent hemophilia?
By far, there is no simple way to prevent hemophilia. If hemophilia runs in your family, you can be tested to see whether you carry the defective gene. Then you can go to a doctor or a health provider to receive counseling.
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