Hemophilia is a medical condition caused by the lack of certainprotein in the blood. People suffering from this condition tend to bleed longerthan normal, since the missing protein is actually the clotting factor. There isnot enough of clotting factor (or it’s completely absent), and that is causingprolonged bleeding.
Hemophilia is inherited condition and passed through thefamily. Only men can suffer from this disease but both men and women may becarriers of hemophilia. There were also a few cases of female hemophilia, thecondition which is extremely rare. It happens when the baby girl gets passedboth sets of genes that cause hemophilia, from her mother and her father. Some30% of diagnosed hemophilia cases are not genetically predisposed, but causedby spontaneous mutations.
Hemophilia Types and Levels
There are different types of hemophilia, known as hemophiliaA and hemophilia B. The main difference is the missing clotting factor, becausein hemophilia A patient's lack factor VIII (eight) and in hemophilia B, there isa shortage of factor IX (nine).
A person might suffer from three levels of hemophilia: mild,moderate or severe. Factor levels percents decide upon the severity of this condition,and the seriousness of your case is also something that you inherited from yourfamily and can’t be changed during your life. The person whose factor level is lessthan 1% is suffering from severe hemophilia, and can experience bleeding evenwithout any previous warning. Moderate hemophilia is characterized by abnormal bleedingeven after small injuries. Mild hemophilia patients bleed after dental work,surgical procedure or some major injuries.
Potential Hemophilia Problems
Bleeding in the joint is probably the most common problemfor people suffering from this condition. Accumulation of the blood in thejoint may lead to the swelling and painful sensations, but could also causedamage to the healthy joint tissue.
Additionally, your immune system might react to the clottingfactor injected (or given any other way) in order to compensate the missingsubstance in the body. Immune system creates antibodies which destroy theclotting factors, especially in patients suffering from severe hemophilia. Becauseof that doctors are forced to change the treatment in these patients.
Available Treatments for Hemophilia
The recommended initial treatment for people suffering frombleeding problems caused by hemophilia is RICE method (rest, ice, compressionand elevation). This method is proven to be a valid first-aid therapy for anysoft tissue problem, minimizing the internal bleeding.
For the pain these patients might be recommended using acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aspirin and ibuprofen products shouldbe avoided, since they could cause further clotting problems. It is also advisableto avoid any painkillers if you have a head injury.
To stop or prevent the bleeding, your doctor might give you themissing factors intravenously. Recombinant or plasma factors may be given onceor couple of times during the first 12 or 24 hours of therapy.
Bleeding of mucosa in the nose, mouth or intestinal tract isusually solved by Amicar. This is frequently used medication before and aftersome dental work.
DDAVP (also known as desmopresin, Minirin or Stimate) canalso be the solution for mild cases of hemophilia A. It could be given to thepatient to inhale through the nose, by injection or intravenously.