If you’ve ever heard of the disease hemophilia, chances are it was in a history lesson. For decades, it was associated with the royal houses of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. But don’t be mistaken: hemophilia is still a present-day reality for many people.
A rare blood disorder, it is primarily passed on genetically. What exactly is hemophilia and how is it treated? Top hospital in the Philippines, Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed), explains what it’s all about.Hemophilia is a blood disorder wherein one’s blood is incapable of clotting properly. People with hemophilia are deficient in either factor VIII (8) or factor IX (9). The lower these levels are, the higher the possibility that bleeding could be excessive and fatal.
According to Hemophilia Advocates Philippines, there are about 10,000 hemophilia patients in the country, but only 1,500 are registered with the Philippine Hemophilia Foundation. Because the disease is so rare, only a few hospitals can offer treatment for it. At MakatiMed, hemophilia is diagnosed through a blood test wherein doctors look for any deficiencies in clotting. If there is such a deficiency, doctors inject a clotting factor to increase its presence in the blood.
Still, the key to fighting hemophilia is to detect it as early as possible. “If you or your children have experienced any of the symptoms of hemophilia, you should consult a doctor right away,” Dr. Torres says. “It is best to detect the disease before any major blood loss occurs and results in fatal damage.”