What is haemophilia?
Haemophilia Haemophilia is a rare, inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly.
Clotting is the process by which your blood changes from a liquid to a solid state. Bleeding may occur spontaneously or following injury. There are different types of haemophilia, but the severity of a person’s haemophilia is determined by the amount of factor in the blood. The lower the amount of factor, the more likely it is that bleeding will occur which can lead to serious health problems.
- There are several different kinds of bleeding disorder; haemophilia affects mainly males.
- People with haemophilia A lack clotting factor VIII and represent 90 per cent of all those affected by haemophilia.
- People with haemophilia B lack clotting factor 1X.
- Around 6,000 people in the UK have haemophilia.
- Symptoms include bleeding into muscles and joints, especially the knees, elbows, and ankles; prolonged bleeding after a cut, tooth removal, surgery, or an accident; big bruises and internal bleeding into vital organs, most commonly after serious trauma.
- Bleeding into joints can lead to disabling arthritis, and bleeding in the brain can lead to serious complications.
- The main treatment for haemophilia is regular injections of clotting factor medication, which many patients self-administer at home.
- There is no cure, but modern treatments mean patients can lead normal lives.