Hemophilia is one of the most known and most common hemorrhagic diseases (although very rare). The disease mainly affects men and is characterized by a shortage of chemical substance called anti-hemophilic factor (AHF) or factor VIII, which is important for the blood clotting mechanism.
Hemophilia is hereditary; namely, the disease mainly affects men, but women are transmitting it.
Symptoms usually occur when a male baby starts to move. After some commonly harmless activity, such as crawling, the baby gets bruising on the knees and elbows, and every cut bleeds for too long. The result of internal bleeding caused by the fall is a hematoma, so the hand or foot may swell and hurt for several days. Frequent internal bleeding and accumulation of scarring tissue causes stiffness of joints that restrict movement.
In the United Kingdom, one in every 50,000 men has hemophilia. In about 75% of the cases, the disease is hereditary, and in other cases the hemophiliac is the first person with the disease in the family, probably because of the malaise that occurs spontaneously in the mother’s genes.
Today, there is a considerably reduced risk that this illness will be disable you or that you will die of it, due to effective and well-organized treatment. However, great injury still poses a threat to life. In addition, precautions should be taken before any surgery, even before tooth extraction.
What to do?
In families where the disease is extremely hereditary, every member of the family must seek advice from the geneticist before the progeny of the offspring. Generally, such families and their physician are usually prepared for this problem and the precautions that should be taken. In all other cases there is a danger, especially if the disease is a mild form, that the parents will not recognize it. If your baby has any of the symptoms described, contact your doctor immediately.
If an adult man notice bruising or unusual bleeding, he should also contact the doctor. After extensive examinations, your doctor will probably refer you to a hematologist at the hospital for blood tests. If a specialist diagnoses hemophilia, you will get some recognition mark (e.g. bracelet or card) that contains details of the disease. You should always carry this card with you.
Self-help: the child should be protected from injury, but not by banning any physical activity. For example, since he should not play football, you should encourage him to run, swim and do similar activities.
If the hemophiliacs is injured, the wound should be carefully cleaned and wrapped with a clean cloth. If bleeding does not stop, it is necessary to connect with a hospital that deals with these cases. If the hemophiliacs injures the wrist and, for example, his knee fills with blood, put an ice bag on the wrist and tighten the knee. In this case, he should go to the hospital because of the risk of permanent damage to the wrist.
Hemophiliacs should not take any medication before being consulted with the physician. He should not drink aspirin as it may cause bleeding in stomach. Due to the risk of bleeding, special tooth hygiene should be maintained.
Professional help: today, hemophilia can also be treated preventive with regular factor VIII transfusions, a blood clotting substance that the patient does not have enough. Hemophiliacs can learn how to give themselves that transfusion with injections. If, however, bleeding or hematoma occurs, bleeding may be stopped by a new injectable or transfusion of factor VIII. Depending on the severity of the disease or injury due to bleeding or hematoma, treatment may also require a short stay in the hospital.