Hemophilia

Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder, which means it can run in families. Blood does not clot properly in people with hemophilia. Blood contains proteins called clotting factors that are needed to stop bleeding. People with hemophilia have low amounts of either factor VIII (factor 8) or factor IX (factor 9) in their blood. A lower amount of factor in the blood typically leads to more severe hemophilia. The lower the amount of the factor, the more likely it is that bleeding will occur. Hemophilia occurs in about 1 of every 5,000 male births from all racial and ethnic groups. Females can also have hemophilia, but this is much more rare.

Quiz

Key Facts

  • Hemophilia can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.
  • People with hemophilia have low amounts of proteins called clotting factors that are needed to stop bleeding.
  • Hemophilia is typically treated by infusing (giving through a vein) the missing clotting factor in order to stop bleeding.
  • Males with hemophilia usually have bleeding episodes, but females might also experience bleeding related complications.
  • People with hemophilia can live normal lives, but should avoid activities that put them at risk for injury or trauma.
  • Some people with hemophilia will develop inhibitors. Inhibitors make it more difficult to stop a bleeding episode because they prevent the treatment from working.

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