Hemophilia is a life-threatening condition in which the blood clotting mechanism of the body is prolonged. It is a hereditary health condition present from birth and likely to affect men than women. It’s a non-communicable disease so you cannot pass it onto others. In rare cases, hemophilia may develop later in life, after 50 years of age. When a person bleeds, his/her bleeding stops because of normal levels of clotting factor. However, when people with hemophilia bleed, their bleeding continues for longer periods because of lower levels of clotting factor.
Hemophilia bleeding can range from mild to severe and is often internal, but people can bleed outside the body too.
Some of signs and symptoms of hemophilia include spontaneous bleeding, bleeding into the muscles or joints, bleeding for a prolonged period after having surgery, having a cut or dental work, and big bruises. In very few cases, bleeding can happen for shorter duration and only arise after injury or surgery.
In severe cases, bleeding is impulsive with no known cause and can get into the joints and muscles of the body. More symptoms include inflammation, pain and stiffness, persistent pain in joints and muscles. Arthritis can also occur due to continuous bleeding into a joint.
If left unattended, Hemophilia can lead to an early death. Thankfully, medical science has given several successful treatment options. If managed properly, hemophiliacs (people with hemophilia) can lead full and healthy lives. Treatment options for Hemophilia include injecting the missing clotting factor into the bloodstream.
A need for awareness campaigns
Sadly, there are many patients across the globe, who receive poor or no treatment for hemophilia and related bleeding disorders. As per the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), 1 in every 1000 person suffers from hemophilia and countless do not receive any medical attention. World Federation of Hemophilia is working in coordination with different countries to raise awareness about hemophilia and close the gap between hemophiliacs and the availability of treatments. One of the ways people can help spread awareness about this condition is by using the modern technology and social networking means.
Some tips for hemophiliacs
- They should first consult a qualified hematologist rather than a general physician
- They should avoid taking pain killers for small problems
- They should avoid taking intramuscular injections as they can lead to severe complications
- Before undergoing even a minor surgery, patients should take professional opinion from a hematologist
- Hemophiliacs can live a healthy life if the symptoms are managed properly.