While working in the fields of hematology and phlebotomy, there are a number of important factors involving the blood that health care workers and students will have to learn, know, and pay attention to. These factors include medications, medical history, and diseases. One of the first questions that students are taught to ask the patients is if they have any blood disorders that they are aware of. This paper will speak about one disease in particular, hemophilia, that phlebotomists and other health care workers might come across while working with patients.
What Is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a chronic genetic disorder of the blood that stops the blood from clotting normally. With hemophilia, the blood lacks a protein called a “clotting factor” that is needed for it to clot in a normal amount of time (Judd, 2010). The clotting factor can be completely absent, be an insufficient amount, or be improperly formed (Wilson, 2006). Because the blood lacks the ability to clot as quickly as it is supposed to, excessive bleeding can occur in the joints, soft tissue, or any other site within the body that has experienced a trauma. It also heightens the risk of a patient hemorrhaging if they have to undergo a surgery. Minor cuts and scrapes rarely are a problem for people who have hemophilia, although that is commonly believed (Robinson, 2006). Usually inherited, it can also develop somewhere during a person’s life (Judd, 2010). Although it is rare, the disorder is found pretty much everywhere around the world, equally affecting all different races and ethnicities but seem to appear almost exclusively in males (Robinson, 2006). Women are found to be the carriers of the defected gene, not being affected by it but by ...
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...th their body creating antibodies that prevents the treatments from being successful (Brown, 2011).
The number one thing that hemophiliacs can do to help themselves is to avoid injury. While that is not always possible, they should also try to avoid medications that thin the blood and promote bleeding, such as aspirin (Wilson, 2006).
Hemophilia is a serious blood disorder, although it is rare. There is not a big risk of a person hemorrhaging while drawing his/her blood, however a phlebotomist should take extra care if they happen to draw blood on a patient with hemophilia. Losses of large amounts of blood are still possible from even the smallest of injuries for people with hemophilia (Brown, 2011). It is a good idea to remember to apply firm, direct pressure for a longer amount of time than they normally would for a patient whose blood clots normally.
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