April is World Hemophilia month. Did you know that 75% of people around the world with bleeding disorders have not yet been diagnosed? This is according to the World Federation of Hemophilia. Though hemophilia is rare, I think it is very important for us especially parents to be aware of it.
Blood Brothers Aid Inc., a non-profit organization based in the Philippines, aims to raise awareness about hemophilia in the country and to get more Filipinos to recognize the problem and help through blood or monetary donations. To help spread the awareness of the World Hemophilia month and in support of this, esupermommy would like to take part by sharing this brief post to my readers.
What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is characterized by the inability for blood to clot properly, it is a hereditary medical condition that occurs in males more often than in females, and could affect the young as much as the elderly. In special cases, a change in an individual’s genes may also cause him to acquire it within his lifetime.
The usual symptoms of Hemophilia
The usual symptoms of hemophilia include deep bruising, joint pain and swelling caused by internal bleeding, spontaneous bleeding (e.g. nosebleeds), or prolonged bleeding from cuts, after surgery, or after a tooth extraction.
Following an injury, a person with hemophilia may take a longer time to heal from his wounds because his blood lacks the protein (clotting factor) instrumental in clotting.
How can Hemophilia be diagnosed?
Hemophilia can be diagnosed by taking a blood sample and measuring the level of clotting factor activity in the blood.
Help bring treatment to the Philippines.
Hemophilia is mainly treated with replacement therapy. Clotting factor concentrates taken from healthy blood is injected into a hemophiliac’s bloodstream. Once it reaches the affected area, bleeding is expected to slow down and eventually stop. This treatment has to be done shortly after injury so as to avoid further pain, as well as damage to the person’s muscles, joints, and organs.
Clotting factor concentrates, however, are not readily available in the Philippines. International groups or volunteers ship medicine in from other countries, though supplies are minimal. In the absence of these drugs, a person in need of replacement therapy would require blood or plasma transfusions, and are at the mercy of the limited supply of blood available in hospitals. There are reported incidents of deaths among hemophiliacs due to the long wait for blood donations.
It is truly is important for those who might show symptoms of having hemophilia to be diagnosed at the soonest possible time to avoid the worst that may happen. Sharing this awareness, we can help provide the support and treatments necessary for people who suffer from it.
Let us support World Hemophilia Month, become a Blood Brother.
Take the first step into helping by joining the Blood Brothers Aid Inc. community through their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/