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Hemophilia

Hemophilia

Call your doctor after any significant physical trauma.

Call your doctor also if you cannot control external bleeding with simple pressure.

  • Because you may have internal as well external bleeding, always err on the side of safety and call your doctor.
  • Be particularly concerned about bleeding into your joints or your central nervous system because of long-term complications and the possibility of death.
  • Because hemophilia treatment involves blood products, you often may need to be treated in an emergency department or other health care facility, especially if you have severe hemophilia.

Your doctor should evaluate any head or spinal trauma.

A severe hemophiliac should be evaluated at a hospital's emergency department for any bleeding whatsoever, because his or her blood will not clot adequately on its own in these situations:

Any person with hemophilia who has significant trauma anywhere on the body should be evaluated at a hospital regardless of the severity of the disease.

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Self-Care at Home

Most often people with hemophilia require medical treatment if bleeding or an injury occurs. You can take the following simple actions at home.

  • Avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen (Advil) because they may further interfere with blood clotting.
  • If you have blood in your urine, drink plenty of fluids to ensure hydration.
  • Apply direct pressure to any site at which you are  externally.
  • Apply ice and put a splint on affected joints after bleeding to provide relief from symptoms.
  • If you have the training on the disease process, you can give yourself factor replacement therapy. But you should do so under consultation from your doctor.
Outlook

With proper medical care, people with hemophilia can expect to live full and productive lives. Yet complications still occur.

During the late 1970s through 1985, up to 60% of severe hemophiliacs had contracted the hiv virus (the virus that causes AIDS ) from blood products. Because of the development of genetically engineered factor and improved purification processes, no case of HIV  transmission from clotting factors has been documented since 1986.

Those using blood-derived products are still at risk for getting hepatitis.

  • Hepatitis A can resist some purifying methods, but no hepatitis C transmission has been reported since 1997.
  • Doctors recommend that all people with hemophilia receive the hepatitis B vaccine.

Despite current treatments, people with hemophilia still undergo degenerative changes due to bleeding in the joints.

  • When repeated  occurs, chronic swelling results in that joint. The swelling leads to degeneration of cartilage and bone.
  • Ultimately this process will cause chronic joint stiffness and pain.

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