Hemophilia is an inherited lifelong disease that slows down the clotting process of the blood, due to mutations that affects the person’s genetic makeup.
Hemophilia is primarily classified into two kinds, Hemophilia A & B. Hemophilia A, known as classic hemophilia, is when the level of blood clotting factor, Factor 8 – FXIII (blood-clotting protein) is low. Also, Hemophilia B, also known as Christmas hemophilia, is when the level of blood clotting factor, Factor 9 -FIX (a kind of enzyme that splits protein chains), is low.
Hemophilia can be diagnosed by measuring what we call the “factor clotting activity.” The results of this measurement will show which blood clotting factor they lack, or if they lack them at all. After this, a patient then can be diagnosed with mild, moderate or severe hemophilia, based on the clotting factor levels of the blood.
A patient has mild hemophilia if he or she has 5% to 30% of the normal level of the blood clotting factor VIII or IX. Moderate hemophilia happens when the patient has 1% to 5% of the normal level, and when the patient has less than one percent of the normal level, he or she has severe hemophilia.
Hemophilia affects almost 163,000 people all over the world, and could be affecting more than 10,000 people in the Philippines. However, only 1,200 of these cases are properly diagnosed because of the patients’ lack of awareness and understanding about the symptoms of the disease.
Hemophilia have numerous symptoms, depending on the individual’s level of clotting factor. If the person’s clotting factor level is only mildly reduced, bleeding can just happen after surgery or injury. However, the person’s clotting factor level is extremely low, they may experience spontaneous bleeding.
Here are some other symptoms:
Blood present in the urine or stool
Bleeding that does not stop after a cut, injury or surgery
Bleeding that does not stop after circumcision
Joint bleeding, which can make the individual feel tightness, swelling and pain
Bleeding for no known reason
When the person feels the following symptoms, it is best that he or she be brought to the hospital for immediate treatment:
Sudden pain, swelling and warmth in large joints, such as knees, elbows, hips and shoulders
Painful and prolonged headache
Bleeding from an injury, especially if you have severe hemophilia
Hemophilia can be a life-threatening situation if it’s not diagnosed correctly or treated well. If you notice the symptoms stated above on yourself or on your loved ones, immediately consult a specialist.
While hemophilia does not have a permanent cure, there are treatments that can control or manage its effects. Replacement therapy is one example of such treatment.
When you think that you or your loved ones has some symptoms of hemophilia, you can seek medical help from ManilaMed’s expert hematologists. ManilaMed is a hospital located in the heart of the Metro for easy access in case of any medical situation. Visit manilamed.com.ph for more information, however, for immediate concerns, please contact 525-6836.