Q: Good morning Doc; what are causes of haemophilia?
A: Hallos. Thanks for writing in.
You take for granted the fact that when you have an injury, you may bleed but your body quickly acts to stop the bleeding by forming clots. Have you ever wondered how all that stuff that forms in front of wounds (the wound scabs) get there? I’m sure you’ve not. These are all things we take for granted…like breathing, until there comes a time when one can’t breathe! Okay, let’s not get too morbid 😀
There are, however, those people who do not take for granted the fact that when they bleed, the bleeding will stop because their bodies will release clotting factors that ensure they don’t bleed to death. For this group of people, their bodies lack clotting factors and thus, when they bleed, this could go on for a long time. There is no known cure for this yet and so, the emphasis is on self-care so that these people can live long, normal and productive lives.
This ailment is called Haemophilia (pronounced himofilia). It is passed on from parent to child. There are three types Haemophilia A, B and C. Haemophilia A and B are can only be passed on from mothers to their sons but Haemophilia C can be passed on from either parent to their children, boy or girl.
Depending on the level of deficiency (shortage) of the clotting factors, the bleeding could be spontaneous (severe shortage of clotting factors) or it could happen after injuries or surgery.
Spontaneous bleeding includes bleeding after immunizations, nose bleeds, urine in blood, unexplained bruising and bleeding etc. This could also manifest as internal bleeding, bleeding into joints, adverse (unwanted) reactions to blood transfusions as these people are likely to get a lot of blood transfusions in their life time.
Depending on the type of Haemophilia and the severity of bleeding, treatment could involve transfusion of lacking clotting factors or injection of the hormone (Desmopressin) that stimulates the production of clotting factors. Mild injuries may require only pressure and cold packs to stop bleeding. Physiotherapy has been found useful for people with joint complications.
For people with this ailment, focus is on ensuring that they limit injuries as much as possible. So, I know we all love football and would love to have children who play like pros! 😀 These children should limit the contact sports as much as possible. However, exercise is a great way of also ensuring joint mobility and so activities like swimming etc may be better fits. Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen which can worsen bleeding should be avoided etc.
Ensure that the children with this ailment understand their condition and in cases of accidents or emergencies can inform the adults around about this. Ensure that class teachers, PE instructors and all other relevant authorities know and understand this.
And that’s it 😀
Have a great evening, fabulous people.