Some Information About Hemophilia A

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Definition of Hemophilia a

There are two types of hemophilia:
  • Hemophilia A(classic hemophilia) is most common. It occurs in about 80% of people with hemophilia.
  • Hemophilia B(Christmas disease) is less common. It occurs in about 20% of people with hemophilia.
With hemophilia a, your body doesn’t have enough of a protein called factor VIII. Without such protein, your body is unable to make clots and stop bleeding. Hemophilia a can be further separated into three types according to its factor VIII level:
  •  Mild hemophilia: 5% to 40% of the normal factor VIII level
  •  Moderate hemophilia: 1% to 5% of the normal factor VIII level
  • Severe hemophilia: Less than 1% of the normal factor VIII level
Most people who have hemophilia A have moderate or severe symptoms.  

Causes of Hemophilia a

  • Inheritance. You can inherit it from your parents through genes.
  •  Mutation. It can also happen when a certain gene changes before you’re born.
  • Acquired. It is a rare, dangerous form of hemophilia a. It results from neither inheritance nor mutation, but can be related to pregnancy, cancer, the use of certain medications, etc. And under this circumstance, no cause can be found in about half of cases.
 

Symptoms of Hemophilia a

There are two main symptoms of hemophilia A:
  •  Abnormal bleeding
  •  Easy bruising
You should be cautious If you find the following symptoms in your children:
  •  Sudden Nosebleeds
  •  Lots of blood loss from small cuts or injury, which easily relapse
  • Long-term bleeding in the mouth from a bite, or after a tooth is removed
  • Blood in his or her pee or stool
  •  Large bruises
With this disease, even a small bump to the head can become serious. The followings are signs of bleeding in the brain. You should seek for emergency medical help if any of them happens:
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Vomiting
  •  Drowsiness
  • Sudden weakness or faltering

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Diagnosis of Hemophilia a

You should take care once your baby becomes more active. Bruising and long-lasting bleeding from even small injuries may cause a doctor to suspect hemophilia. The doctor may ask you questions about the cause, lasting time, medication and other related questions about your child’s bruises or bleeding. Your family’s medical history will also be asked to make further judgements. Besides, doctors will test your child's blood. Through the blood test, clotting time and the level of clotting factors can be detected. This often includes:
  • Complete blood count (CBC).
  •  Prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (PTT). Both can test how long it takes blood to clot.
  •  Factor VIII test. This measures the level of the clotting factor.
 

Treatments of Hemophilia a

  • Replacement Therapy. With this treatment, doctors use a needle to inject clotting factor VIII into the bloodstream. The replacement protein can come either from human blood or made in a lab.
  • Emicizumab-kxwh (HEMLIBRA). It is a medicine that can help prevent or reduce the frequency of bleeding episodes in adults and children with hemophilia A.
  • Adynovate. It can help control bleeding in adults and children with hemophilia A.
  • Regular Treatments. Regular treatments are needed if your child has severe hemophilia.
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At the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, treating patients with high dose factor VIII concentrates along with emicizumab has seen early success.

Hemophilia A is also known as factor VIII(FVIII) deficiency. About one-third of patients with severe hemophilia A will develop antibodies directed against FVIII, called inhibitors, limiting the ability to treat hemophilia. Emicizumab, first made widely available in late 2017, mimics FVIII function.  This drug can be given under the skin on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis to prevent bleeding.
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