Hemophilia is an inherited disorder that causes abnormal bleeding. The bleeding occurs because part of the blood -- called plasma -- has too little of a protein that helps blood clot.
Symptoms of hemophilia range from increased bleeding after trauma, injury, or surgery to sudden bleeding with no apparent cause. There are two types of hemophilia:
Hemophilia A results from too little of a plasma protein called factor VIII, which helps blood clot. The greater the deficiency, the more severe the symptoms.
Hemophilia B results from too little of a plasma protein called factor IX, which helps blood clot. As in hemophilia A, hemophilia B can be mild, moderate, or severe. The greater the deficiency, the more severe the symptoms.
Symptoms of Hemophilia include:
In some cases, lengthy bleeding after circumcision
Swollen, painful joints
Swollen, tender muscles
Excessive bleeding from the gums, tongue, or mouth following injury (seen particularly in infants and toddlers)
Severe bleeding after tooth extractions or other invasive dental procedures
Severe bleeding after injuries or operations
Hemophilia can be treated by replacing missing blood clotting factors. This is called clotting factor replacement therapy. Clotting factors are replaced by injecting (infusing) a clotting factor concentrate into a vein. Infusions of clotting factors help blood to clot normally. Clotting factor replacement therapy can treat bleeding episodes or prevent bleeding. It can prevent severe blood loss and complications from bleeding such as damage to muscle, joints, and organs.
Benefits of using clotting factors are:
Control bleeding. Clotting factors can treat bleeding episodes. They are given as soon as possible after a bleed begins.
Prevent bleeding. Clotting factors can be given just before a procedure or surgery to prevent bleeding. You can also give yourself clotting factors just before you do an activity that might cause a bleed. Some people give themselves clotting factors on a regular schedule, such as 3 times a week, to prevent bleeding. This is called prophylactic therapy