2741 Words11 Pages
Hemophilia is the oldest known hereditary bleeding disorder. There are two types of hemophilia, A and B (Christmas Disease). Low levels or complete absence of a blood protein essential for clotting causes both. Patients with hemophilia A lack the blood clotting protein, factor VIII, and those with hemophilia B lack factor IX. A person with severe hemophilia has less than 1% of the normal amount of a clotting factor - either Factor VIII (8) or Factor IX (9). People without hemophilia have between 50-150% of the normal level of factor VIII or IX. There are about 20,000 hemophilia patients in the United States. Each year, about 400 babies are born with this disorder. Approximately 85% have hemophilia A and the remainder has hemophilia B.
The severity of hemophilia is related to the amount of the clotting factor in the blood. About 70% of hemophilia patients have less than one percent of the normal amount and, thus, have severe hemophilia. A small increase in the blood level of the clotting factor, up to five percent of normal, results in mild hemophilia with rare bleeding except after injuries or surgery.
This is not a problem when a person with hemophilia has a simple cut or scrape. He doesn’t bleed any faster than the average person. He can hold pressure on the cut and platelets in the blood will stop the bleeding.
The problem for people with hemophilia is bleeding inside the body, especially bleeding into joints like the knees, elbows, and ankles. When bleeding happens inside the joint, it becomes very swollen and painful. Repeated bleeding into a joint can cause a type of crippling arthritis. Bleeding inside other parts of the body, such as the brain, throat, and abdomen can be life-threatening. A person with mild hemophilia may only have problems with bleeding when he has surgery, major dental work, or a severe injury. A person with moderate hemophilia will have those problems plus bleeding problems with more minor injuries such as a hard bump to the knee. A person with severe hemophilia can have what are called spontaneous bleeds - bleeding that starts inside the body for no known reason.
Hemophilia is classified as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the amount of clotting factor a person has in his body. Severe hemophilia is actually the most common form. People with hemophilia are born with the disorder and have it all of their lives. You can't ca...

... middle of paper ...

...ed HIV.
Factor VIII gene is characterized and cloned.
Viral-inactivated factor concentrates become available.
ELISA and Western Blot Test are developed to test antibodies for HIV.
Hepatitis C virus, previously called non-A, non-B, is identified.
Testing for hepatitis C is introduced.
First recombinant factor VIII products become available.
First case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of Mad Cow disease, is identified in the U.K.
First recombinant factor IX products become available.
Gene therapy trials on humans begin.

Effective treatment for hemophilia is available, but as yet there is no cure. Bleeding can be treated with an injection of clotting factor that is made from blood or biotechnological ingredients called recombinants. Bleeding stops when enough clotting factor reaches the affected area.

Works Cited

I. Principles Of Genetics 7th Edition, Robert H. Tamarin. 2002
II. World Federation of Hemophilia. www.wfh.org
III. Hemophilia of Georgia. www.hog.org
IV. Hemophilia Village. Hemophiliavillage.com

More about Hemophilia

Get Access