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Haemophilia - What You Need to Know

Getting injured is natural and common. So is bleeding when injured. It’s all a part of everyday life. But what if the blood didn’t stop and the bleeding went on? This would be a case of what is called haemophilia.

Haemophilia is an inherited illness, caused by genetics. It occurs due to a lack of proteins called clotting factors in the flood, which are responsible for making blood clot. The lack of this factor leads to excessive bleeding, and can be life-threatening. It is a condition leading to spontaneous or internal bleeding as well as bleeding in the joints, leading to excessive pain.

Signs and Symptoms

Of all the haemophilia cases in India, only a small percentage of cases - 15% to be precise - are registered and diagnosed. There may be a much bigger number of haemophiliacs in the country.

Most of the cases may be undiagnosed as of now. As of now, there are 16,000 registered haemophiliacs in India.

Some of the signs of haemophilia to look out for include:

- Painful or swollen joints due to internal bleeding

- Severe headaches

- Frequent vomiting

- Neck pain

- Blurred or doubled vision

- Continuous bleeding from an injury (which can be fatal)

Treatment or Management

There is no cure for haemophilia. Patients with severe haemophilia may have a routine treatment schedule which involves maintaining certain levels of clotting factors from donated blood plasma to prevent bleeds.

Other than that, some steps can be taken in order to manage haemophilia

- Avoid physical activity that can result in injuries and thus bleeding

- Be very careful when it comes to cleaning your teeth and gums - ask your dentist how to do so without making gums bleed.

- Avoid blood thinning medications

- Arrange for donors of blood and plasma for emergencies

The Genetics Behind Haemophilia

Haemophilia is more common in males than females. The genes that determine haemophilia are on the X chromosome, making this an X-linked recessive disorder. Females are also affected but less often - most of the time, females are genetic carriers of the disease - meaning that they are not affected by it, but pass it on to offspring.

Haemophilia is a fatal disease, and there’s no way to avoid it. It is simply a result of genes. So if you find these signs often, make sure to speak to a healthcare professional. Better safe than sorry!

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