Hemophilia is a rare blood disorder where the blood fails to clot appropriately and it mostly affects men, while women are carriers of this condition. Proteins in the body, called clotting factors, help to stop bleeding. People with hemophilia tend to manufacture lower amounts of either factor IX or factor VIII proteins, which causes people with this condition to bleed longer than usual. This results in internal bleeding, which can turn fatal in many cases.
Proper treatment and precautions help individuals with this disorder to lead a healthy life despite the condition. Presently around 20,000 people in the country are suffering from hemophilia.
There are a variety of ways to diagnose and treat hemophilia. These are decided with one’s medical team according to their capacity to withstand certain treatments and the nature of their particular case.
An individual with a family history of hemophilia should consult the family doctor for a diagnosis. However, in case this isn’t possible, they can consult other doctors who are likely to recommend screening tests that are available for diagnosing the stages of this disease.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
This test gives the count of the RBC and level of hemoglobin in the blood. This test also states the nature and size of the different blood corpuscles of the person. People with hemophilia are reported to have low RBC and hemoglobin count due to excessive and prolonged bleeding.
- Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) Test
This test helps to measure the clotting ability of factors VIII (8), IX (9), XI (11), and XII (12). Patients with hemophilia often have a low count of these factors.
- Prothrombin Time (PT) Test
This test helps to measure the time required by the blood to clot after injury. Primarily, this test measures the count and the clotting ability of factors I (1), II (2), V (5), VII (7), and X (10).
- Fibrinogen Test
Fibrinogen is one of the significant clotting factors of the blood. The doctor also recommends this test to check the clotting ability of the blood.
A proper diagnosis is essential to formulate the right treatment for hemophilia patients. The primary therapy for the condition is replacement therapy.
- Replacement therapy
This therapy relates to the change or replacement of the clotting factors that are probably missing in the patients. This can be done by injecting the patients with the clotting factors intravenously.
In cases of mild hemophilia, hormones like Desmopressin can stimulate the body to produce more clotting factors.
- Clot-preserving medications
There are medications that can help prevent the breakdown of clots in the body and are used to treat hemophilia.
- Fibrin sealants
This treatment method can promote wound sites to increase the rate of clotting and healing in patients.
Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B are beneficial for hemophilia patients.
There are several severe effects of this disease if patients do not receive adequate treatment at the right time. Timely diagnosis and treatment of hemophilia are thus extremely important both for the survival of the individual.