hemophilia

* a disorder in which blood does not clot normally

*Cause: genetically inherited, caused by a deficiency in a blood clotting factor (either factor VIII, IX, or XI, depending on the type)

*Symptoms: unexplained, excessive bleeding or bruising from cuts/injuries, large, deep bruises, bleeding after receiving vaccines, pain and swelling in joints, blood in urine/stool, nosebleeds without a known cause, repeated vomiting, double vision, extreme fatigue

*Diagnostic tests: screening tests and clotting factor tests can be performed to determine diagnosis. Screening tests are blood tests that show if blood is clotting properly. Clotting factor tests show the type of hemophilia the patient has, and its severity.

*Incidence: 1 in 5,000 live male births. Estimated 20,000 in the US have hemophilia, estimated 400,000 worldwide.

*Risk Factors: hemophilia is genetically inherited. People whose parents have hemophilia, or are a carrier of the hemophilia gene, are at risk. It is much more common in males; females are carriers of the gene.

*Prevention: the development of the disorder cannot be prevented. Some symptoms/complications can, however, be prevented by:

-taking care to avoid injuries

-no excessive joint strain

-avoiding aspirin and other medications that prevent blood clotting (NSAIDS)

-avoiding contact sports/physical activity that may cause bodily injury or trauma

-getting vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine

*Complications: hemophilia is usually chronic. About 70% of current hemophiliacs are also HIV positive, because they received infected blood products/transfusions before screening for HIV was available.

Repeated bleeding into a joint causes joint destruction. The major cause of death among hemophiliacs of all ages is intercranal bleeding (bleeding into vital structures).

*Treatment (in US): the main treatment for hemophilia is called replacement therapy, in which concentrates of blood clotting factors are slowly IV dripped or injected into the patient. The type of clotting factor injected into the patient depends on the type of hemophilia the patient has (hemophilia A, hemophilia B, von Willebrand disease, etc).

Desmopressin is a drug that increases the levels of protein in the patient's blood. It is usually given by injection or nasal spray.

Antifibrinolytic medications may also be used alongside replacement therapy. They are administered in pill form.

Works Cited

"Hemophilia - Prevention." SparkPeople. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

"Hemophilia." Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

"Hemophilia." Causes. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.

"How Is Hemophilia Treated?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

"Inhibitors." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

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