Hemophilia is a rare, inborn, life-long congenital bleeding disorder that affects mostly males. Individuals with hemophilia are born with a defective gene that prevents their body from producing enough of these proteins and therefore are unable to form a strong and stable blood clot.
Based on the data from the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), one in ten thousand has hemophilia. Hemophilia is one of the bleeding disorders that hinders normal blood clotting.
About 10,000 Filipinos have hemophilia. A more serious concern for people suffering from hemophilia is spontaneous bleeding; any leak can cause severe bleeding and the body will not heal itself. Bleeding into different organs can be life-threatening because when it occurs to a vital organ, it can cause permanent damage beyond repair.
Signs and Symptoms
- Bleeding into the joins that affects the knees, elbows, and ankles
- Bleeding into the skin or muscle and soft tissue causing a build-up of blood in the area (called a hematoma)
- Bleeding after circumcision
- Bleeding in the head of an infant after a difficult delivery
- Bleeding after having shots, such as vaccinations
- Bleeding of the mouth and gums
- Frequent and hard-to-stop nosebleeds
- Blood in the urine or stool
When to see a Doctor?
If you have a family history of hemophilia, you may want to undergo genetic testing to see if you’re a carrier of the disease before you start a family.
Seek immediate care if one is experiencing the following:
- Vomiting repeatedly
- Severe headache
- Blurred or double vision
- Continuous bleeding from an injury
- Excessive sleepiness
- Neck pain
Currently, medical science has not provided a definitive cure for this atypical disease. However, bleeding can be managed either by blood transfusion or infusion of the medicines called anti-hemophilic factor concentrates which often times are very costly.
Out of the 10,000 Filipinos that suffer from this bleeding disorder, data gathered showed that 3 out of every 4 people lack the resources required for proper treatments.