Also known as: hemophilia A, hemophilia B, hemophilia C, classic hemophilia

What is hemophilia?

Hemophilia is a medical condition in which children bleed longer than normal because their blood doesn't clot properly due to a lack of the proteins known as clotting factors. Small cuts don't usually cause a problem, but an injury or surgery or even having teeth pulled can result in continuous bleeding in severe cases. Bleeding can also occur without injury into joints like ankles or knees or for example inside organs and/or the chest, abdomen or brain. There are several types of hemophilia, however Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B (Christmas disease) are the commonest.

What causes hemophilia?

Hemophilia is a genetic disease (usually in boys) inherited from the parents. Hemophilia can also develop spontaneously from gene mutations (changes in genes) with no family history of the disease. Sometimes and rarely, the body produces antibodies (proteins) that attack its own clotting factors- this is called acquired hemophilia.

What are the signs and symptoms of hemophilia?

Signs and symptoms of hemophilia will depend on where the bleeding occurs. Often they include large, deep bruises, unexplained bleeding, excessive bleeding after circumcision, cuts or accidents, nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stool or pain and swelling of the joints.

What are hemophilia care options?

People with hemophilia often require infusions of clotting factor or anti-clotting medications given through a vein to prevent problems from occurring. If bleeding does occur, blood transfusions may be necessary. Physical therapy also plays a role in preventing or healing after joint damage related to hemophilia.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 31/10/2017 11:52:07 a. m.

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