Haemophilia is a group of inherited blood disorder which affects the blood’s ability to clot. It is also known as hemophilia. The bleeding disorder is due to the defects in blood vessels, the coagulation mechanism or it could be the blood platelets.
The blood coagulation mechanism tends to transform the blood from liquid form into solid state involving several different clotting factors which generates fibrin when it is activated together with platelet plugs and stops bleeding.
Normally when one has an injury, substance in the blood known as clotting factors combines with blood cells, platelets that make the blood sticky which stops the bleeding eventually. However in the case of haemophilia, the clotting factors are few and those with this condition could bleed longer than usual.
This disorder could be passed to a child by either or both of the parents. The symptoms of haemophilia could be mild to severe based on the level of clotting factors. In severe cases of haemophilia, the person may experience internal bleeding which usually takes place around the joints and muscles, causing stiffness and pain and could also lead to joint damage over a period of time.
Common Types - Haemophilia A & B
The common types of haemophilia are – haemophilia A and haemophilia B. Both the types tend to have the same symptoms though they are caused by issues with different clotting factors with different treatment.
Besides this, there is also another rarer form of haemophilia known as acquired haemophilia which is not an inherited condition but is caused by the immune system invading the clotting factors in the blood.
Haemophilia can be diagnosed when a pregnant women with a history of haemophilia undergoes a gene test where a sample of placenta is removed from the uterus and tested which is known as a chorionic villus sampling test.. If a child is suspected of haemophilia, a blood test is carried out which determines if the child has this haemophilia A or B and how severe it could be.
Can Be Controlled with Treatment
Though there is no cure for haemophilia, with treatment this condition can be controlled and the person and enjoy a good quality of life.Genetically engineering clotting factor medications have developed in recent times to treat and prevent prolonged bleeding wherein these medications can be injected based on the severity of the condition.
Usually injections are only given in milder conditions in case of prolonged bleeding while in more severe cases they are treated with regular injections to stop the bleeding. The medication is generally injected in the vein, in the back of the hand or the crook of the elbow where the initial treatment is administered by a nurse or a doctor at clinic/hospital, and later on adults learn how to administer the same.
Should the person with haemophilia, experience any of the following, they should seek immediate help such as, if there is an injury to the mouth, tongue, neck, face or eye, if the bleeding is heavy or persistent, a severe blow to the head, if there is severe pain or swelling in any area of the body or an open wound that may need stiches.