Causes of hemophilia
A person with hemophilia is missing a protein in their blood that causes it to clot. This can cause frequent and prolonged bleeding due to any injury. People who have hemophilia are born with this condition, but it can also occur spontaneously in some cases.
Acquired hemophilia is an extremely rare complication of immune diseases. It isn’t due to a mutation in the factor genes like other types of hemophilia.
Types of hemophilia
There are different kinds of hemophilia. The type will depend on the underlying cause – for example, there’s a link between HIV infection and A5.
Hemophilia A usually occurs due to mutations in the F8 gene, while alterations in the F9 gene cause hemophilia B. Hemophilia can be treated by replacing the deficient clotting factor VIII, IX, XI and XIII with a recombinant version of those factors.
The two types of hemophilia that often affects males more than females, since both F8 and F9 genes are found on the X chromosome. This is because women inherit two chromosomes whereas men only get one. This means that males only need to inherit one of their mother’s X chromosomes to develop either condition.
A rare form of hemophilia, hemophilia C results from mutations in the F11 gene that encodes factor XI (FXI). However, as this gene is not located on the X chromosome, it does not affect males and females differently. There are certain rare cases of hemophilia that are acquired instead of inherited. This can often be due to an underlying condition or disorder.
Lastly, acquired hemophilia is when the immune system mistakenly targets a clotting factor – usually FVIII – as being harmful. This leads to an immune response which identifies the clotting factor as something that should be destroyed before any damage can occur.
Symptoms of hemophilia
Hemophilia is a genetic blood disorder in which the person’s clotting factors are either not produced or not functioning properly. The primary symptoms of hemophilia are prolonged and excessive bleeding.
When bleeding occurs internally, it tends to be worse than any external bleeding. Internal bleeding can lead to more serious complications which is why it’s very important to not ignore any sign of internal bleeding. Other things that may happen with hemophilia are nosebleeds, blood in your stool or urine, and bleeding gums.
Hemophiliacs bleed for longer periods of time and have more frequent bleeding episodes. The severity and type of a person’s hemophilia can determine their bleeding pattern. Bleeds can also occur spontaneously, following a trauma or surgery, or without apparent cause.
Complications of hemophilia can include:
Deep internal bleeding. Deep muscle bleeding can cause the limbs to swell, which may in turn result in loss of feeling or numbness in the area. This type of bleeding could be life threatening.
Bleeding in the throat is a sign of injury in the neck or throat. This can paralyses a person’s ability to breath.
Damage to joints. Internal bleeding can put pressure on the joints, causing severe pain. Left untreated, chronic internal bleeding can lead to debilitating arthritis or joint damage.
Infection. If clotting factors for hemophilia are obtained from human blood, there is a higher chance of infection with viruses such as hepatitis C. However, due to screening methods, the risk is acceptable.
Adverse reaction to clotting factor treatment. In people with hemophilia, a person’s immune system may have a negative reaction to clotting factors. When this happens, the immune system produces its own proteins which stop the clotting factors from doing their job. That can make it harder for doctors to treat injuries.
Diagnosis of hemophilia
A diagnosis of hemophilia can usually be given through a family history and blood tests that assess the body’s ability to form clots. Other tests typically measure the levels of several clotting factors. These clotting factor tests are used to diagnose the type of hemophilia a patient has as well as its severity, which are both crucial in selecting the appropriate treatment plan.
Prenatal testing for hemophilia is available if you have a family history of the condition. They enable doctors to prepare & the child’s family to be aware of what to do in case there are complications during labor.
Most hemophilia healthcare treatment consists of replacing the missing clotting factor. This is known as replacement therapy and it’s how hemophilia is usually dealt with. When it comes to factor replacement in the U.S., we can use FVIII and FIX, which can treat hemophilia A and B respectively. However, in the case of hemophilia C, we still need to wait for FXI injection.
There are some newer replacement therapies that come in a prolonged format, such as Alprolix and Eloctate. These require fewer infusions which provides a smaller burden to patients compared to more traditional therapies.
Factor replacement therapies can be given as a preventative measure or to stop bleeding episodes once they have started.
Other treatments can include antifibrinolytics, which slow the breakdown of blood clots, and bypassing agents that are sometimes used to overcome patient resistance to replacement therapies.
Physiotherapy is an essential aspect of hemophilia management. It can help patients to feel better through a variety of techniques including increasing their range of motion, reducing joint pain and swelling, and repairing damaged muscles.
Infusion therapy for hemophilia in Plymouth Michigan
A person with hemophilia is unable to produce their own clotting factor. They need blood-clotting factors to help stop bleeding from cuts and other injuries. This can be done through infusion therapy, where these blood-clotting factors are injected into the patient’s bloodstream.
Some people who have hemophilia receive the clotting factor by injection up to three times a week or once a day, depending on the severity of the disease and how quickly it is progressing. Most people with hemophilia will first need to be diagnosed by testing their blood for antibodies before receiving any treatment: this will show if they have hemophilia and what type.
Let Superior Infusion Center Help You
At Superior Infusion Center, our team of specialists delivers a welcoming and comfortable experience for those with chronic treatment needs. We’re fully committed to making your experience as comfortable as possible. When we’re treating patients, we take precautions and always inform them of any possible side effects. Moreover, our on-site Registered Pharmacist can help you with any questions you might have.
If you’re interested in referring a patient to us or would like to inquire about the treatments we offer, call 734-404-6065 or toll-free at 1-877-261-5512.