March is Hemophilia Awareness Month

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan designated March as Hemophilia Awareness Month to raise awareness for the approximately 20,000 Americans living with the blood disorder.

ThinkstockPhotos-478490890Hemophilia is a general term for a wide range of bleeding disorders where the ability for blood to clot is dramatically reduced. The result is the sufferer bleeds excessively and for a prolonged period of time. When a person who does not have Hemophilia is cut, their vessels constrict and platelets “plug up” the leak by clotting to stop the bleeding. Those with Hemophilia lack certain chromosomes responsible for this function so bleeding continues.

Hemophilia is an inherited disorder that is caused by a defect in genes carried in the X chromosome. When a family member is diagnosed with Hemophilia, it is important that other family members (especially siblings and children) are also tested by performing a coagulation study.

In addition to excessive bleeding, symptoms of Hemophilia include: deep bruises, swelling, joint pain, blood in the urine or stool, and unexplained nosebleeds. Symptoms in newborns include unexplained irritability and excessive bleeding after immunizations.

Treatment for Hemophilia varies, depending on the specific type of the disorder and the severity. For some, clotting factor concentrates can be infused to prevent or treat bleeds. There are also topical products and nasal sprays available. Others may require plasma treatments administered in a hospital setting.

To be tested foe Hemophilia or to learn about treatment, speak to your doctor. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.