Zee Media Bureau
World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) marked April 17th as World Hemophilia Day in order to raise awareness about bleeding disorder or hemophilia. Started in 1989, this particular day was chosen to pay tribute to Frank Schnabel, the founder of WFH, whose birthday falls on the same date.
Across the world, the number of people suffering from this unique medical condition is quite low. According to WFH, globally 1 in 1,000 people has bleeding disorder but most of them are not diagnosed or receive proper treatment due to lack of awareness.
Here, we are listing some of the important facts related to hemophilia so that you can increase support for those living with an inherited bleeding disorder.
What is hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a rare genetic blood disorder in which the blood looses its tendency to clot normally. Due to lack of sufficient blood-clotting proteins, Hemophilia patients bleed for a much longer time after an injury. In this condition internal bleeding can damage organs and tissue, and may be life-threatening.
Types of hemophilia
Hemophilia are of two types- Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B. Each of them is categorized with low levels of certain clotting factor.
Hemophilia A is a common type and is mainly associated with low levels of clotting factor VIII (8).
Hemophilia B is a rare condition and is linked with low levels of clotting factor IX (9).
The only way to diagnose hemophilia is through a blood test. If the blood sample shows the level of clotting factor between VIII and IX, this means that the person is suffering from bleeding disorder.
What causes hemophilia?
Hemophilia is caused by genetic mutation. It is transmitted by genes of parents and caused when antibodies formed in one's own body destroys one of the genes that determines how the body makes blood clotting factor VIII or IX.
- Spontaneous bleeding
- Bleeding into muscles or joints
- Prolonged bleeding after surgery or major injury
- Unusual bleeding after vaccination
- Blood in toilets or stools
- Unexplained nosebleeds
Hemophilia is currently incurable but that doesn't mean we can't defeat it. Many health experts belief that gene therapy is a suitable solution of this problem.
At personal level, a hemophilia patient should follow a proper lifestyle. Regular exercise, less intake of painkillers and blood thinning medication as well as good oral hygiene can help in preventing various serious outcomes.