Hemophilia is the inability of the body to control the clotting and coagulation of blood. There are two different types: hemophilia A and hemophilia B. A occurs in .01 to .02 percent of male births and B which occurs in .003 to .005 percent of male births. The reason the statistics are measured in male births are because the disorder is more likely to occur in men than women. Hemophilia is a defect in the x-chromosome, women have two of these so it has a back-up in case one carries the defect. Men only have one x-chromosome so they lack that helpful backup.
Hemophilia lowers the clotting factor levels of the body. A hemophiliac is an individual with the disorder. They do not bleed excessively compared to those without the disorder but because their blood does not clot as well they bleed for a longer amount of time. Sometimes healing lasts days, weeks, or the individually never fully recovers from even a minor cut.
Symptoms usually include internal and external bleeding which vary in frequency by the severity of the disorder. The bleeding can occur with or without trauma. Children often show no symptoms at birth and eventually form large bruises from falling as they begin to walk and play with other children.
Complications in Treatment:
There are three major complications with treating hemophilia: Transfusion transmitted infection, adverse reactions to clotting treatments, and intracranial hemorrhages.
Transfusion transmitted infection: This occurs when a pathogen gets into donated blood when it is transfused to someone else. There are many preventative measures a hospital or blood-bank-facility takes to ensure pathogens state out of donated blood. The blood is regularly screened for pathogens and those giving blood are screened for infections risks. Although the blood goes through these rigorous pathogen inactivation tests, it is not a 100% guarantee. Some viruses, parasites, and bacteria that are screened for would be :HIV, Hepatitis (A,B,C), Malaria, Syphilis, Lyme disease, and many more. It is important to know that serious diseases like the ones just listed are a rare occurrence, but are a complication associated with treatment.
Adverse reactions to clotting treatment: The medications prescribed to treat the clotting can effect people in different ways. The side effects are all listed on the medication but this refers to in ineffectiveness of the medication. Some medications designed to aid in clotting do not work at all in some individuals.
Intracranial Hemorrhage: Therapy designed to increase your ability to coagulate can increase the risk that this type of hemorrhage will occur. It is bleeding in the brain caused by a ruptured blood vessel. This can be the result of trauma or occur when an individual has hemophilia with no trauma provoked.
Hemophilia is the most common blood disorder. I have been extremely fortunate in my family history to not possess this gene, but a professor at my school has not been so lucky. He inherited it from his mother’s side of the family. He is a mild hemophilia A patient which is just about the mildest form. He feels very lucky that medication is effective on his form and he can go about life as normal as anyone else. Not everyone gets to be so lucky.
Information found on wikipedia.org and interview of Professor Stark of UWMC