Hemophilia is a rare, inherited blood disorder that prevents blood from clotting normally. It is not cancerous, but it does cause cuts, no matter how small, or other wounds (including injuries that cause internal bleeding) to require urgent treatment to clot the blood.

Every person’s disease is different, with individually unique genes and molecules driving that disorder. At the OSUCCC – James, our subspecialists are world-renowned experts who focus solely on blood disorders and who reach across medical disciplines (hematologists, radiologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s disease.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are always available for their treatment and care.

What is Hemophilia?

During normal blood clotting, a protein called blood-clotting factor causes blood platelets to stick together to seal a wound and the broken blood vessels surrounding the wound.

With hemophilia, however, a change (or mutation) in the gene that produces a protein called blood-clotting factor keeps blood from clotting normally, so treatment is needed immediately.

There are two main types of hemophilia: Hemophilia A or Hemophilia B, depending on the type of blood-clotting factor in the patient’s blood. Hemophilia A is also called classic hemophilia with a Factor VIII deficiency. Hemophilia B is also called Christmas disease with a Factor IX deficiency.

About 80 percent of hemophilia patients have Hemophilia A.

There are also three classifications for hemophilia: mild, moderate and severe. The OSUCCC – James subspecialists determine these classifications by the following:

  • Mild hemophilia: 5 to 40 percent normal blood-clotting factor is present in the body
  • Moderate hemophilia: 1 to 5 percent normal blood-clotting factor is present in the body
  • Severe hemophilia: less than 1 percent normal blood-clotting factor is present in the body

Nearly all patients who have hemophilia are born with it, and they live with it for their entire lives. In rare cases, however, the disease can develop later in life if the body forms a protein (antibody) response to blood-clotting factor.

(Source: National Institutes of Health)

Hemophilia Symptoms

The main symptoms of hemophilia are excessive bleeding and easy bruising.

Excessive Bleeding Symptoms

Excessive bleeding can occur externally or internally. How much a patient bleeds depends on how severe the disease is. For example, children with a mild form of the disease may not have any symptoms until they have excessive bleeding from a dental procedure or an accident.

Signs of external bleeding include:

  • Bleeding in the mouth from a cut or bite or from losing a tooth
  • Nosebleeds for no obvious reason
  • Heavy bleeding from a minor cut
  • A cut that causes bleeding to start up again after it has stopped for a short time

Signs of internal bleeding include:

  • Blood in the urine from bleeding in the kidneys or bladder
  • Blood in the stool from bleeding in the intestines or stomach
  • Large bruises from bleeding into the large muscles of the body

(Source: National Institutes of Health)

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have hemophilia. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms are severe or have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you’ve been diagnosed with hemophilia, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a blood disorder specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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