Haemophilia Day is celebrated on April 17th of every year to raise awareness on Haemophilia – a bleeding disorder. The date coincides with the birthday of Frank Schnabel, – the founder of World Federation of Haemophilia. Since 1989, World Haemophilia Day is celebrated with the entire community suffering from bleeding disorders coming together to celebrate the advancements in modern medicine to treat this blood disorder. WHD also raises awareness about this form of ailment to the public.
What is Haemophilia?
Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder which is caused by defects (mutations) in the genes that code for the blood clotting factors VIII, IX or XI.
There are two forms of Hemophilia: Hemophilia ‘A’ & Hemophilia ‘B’.
This disorder affects males more than females. Those suffering from this blood disorder has low levels of proteins called ‘clotting factors’ reducing the possibility of clotting.
Only 15% of haemophilia cases are detected in our country while the remaining go undiagnosed. Approximately, only 20,000 patients’ haemophilia patients are registered in the country, while reports suggest there 7 times more patients suffering from this rare blood disorder.
Symptoms of Haemophilia
- Severe headaches
- Frequent vomiting
- Neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Feeling sleepy
- Continuous bleeding from an injury or surgery
Certain Important conditions for those suffering from Haemophilia
- Those suffering from Haemophilia should avoid any physical activity that might cause an injury resulting in bleeding.
- Avoid any medication that involves blood thinning
- Haemophiliacs need to avoid over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and Ibuprofen.
Diagnosis of Haemophilia
For those who have a family history of Haemophilia, there is a test to determine during pregnancy if the foetus is affected by haemophilia. At the age of 2 years a blood test shows a clotting factor deficiency. Some of the blood tests recommended are:
Complete Blood Count,
Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT),
Prothrombin Time (PT) test,
Clotting factor tests are done to diagnose Haemophilia.
Complications of this ailment include joint pain, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease and hemorrhaging