What is hemophilia type A?
Hemophilia type A is a blood clotting disorder that makes bleeding difficult to clot. This condition is caused by a lack of blood clotting factor VIII (eight) in the body.
Blood clotting (coagulation) factors are proteins that aid in the blood clotting process. In the human body, there are about 13 types of clotting factors (coagulation) that work together with platelets to clot the blood. If one of the factors is reduced, the blood clotting process can be disrupted.
The difference between hemophilia A and other types of hemophilia is the type of clotting factor that is reduced or lost. For example, people with hemophilia B, a blood disorder caused by blood clotting factor IX (nine) are low.
This disease is generally genetically inherited. However, there are also some cases where hemophilia appears at any time without heredity (acquired hemophilia).
How common is this disease?
According to the site National Hemophilia Foundation, cases of hemophilia A can occur in 1 in 5,000 births. This type is 4 times more common than hemophilia B. In addition, more than half of cases of hemophilia A are classified as severe.
This disease can affect all ages and races. However, this disease is more common in male patients than female. Generally, the factors that play the biggest role are genetics or heredity.
Signs and symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of hemophilia type A?
The signs and symptoms of hemophilia A may vary from patient to patient. This depends on the severity, as well as the amount of clotting factor VIII in the blood.
The most common symptom is bleeding that lasts longer than healthy people. Bleeding can occur outside, for example as a result of an incision wound, accident, or tooth extraction. Internal or internal bleeding is also included, such as those in joints, muscles, or other organs.
The following are common symptoms of hemophilia type A:
- bleeding that is difficult to stop
- appear bruises
- blood in the urine or feces
- deep bleeding in the joint, which is followed by swelling
- spontaneous bleeding without an obvious cause
When should I go to the doctor?
Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else has:
- Symptoms of bleeding in the brain (severe headache, vomiting, decreased consciousness)
- An accident that makes it difficult for blood to stop flowing
- Swollen joints that feel warm to the touch
If your family or parents have a history of hemophilia, you will also need to undergo genetic testing to see if there is a risk of this disease in your body.
What causes hemophilia type A?
As previously described, hemophilia A occurs due to a lack of blood clotting factor VIII. The main cause of type A hemophilia is a genetic mutation.
This genetic mutation occurs in gene F8, which is a gene that plays a role in producing clotting factor VIII. Under normal conditions, the coagulation factor will clot the bleeding when there is a wound. That way, damaged blood vessels will be protected and not too much blood will come out of the body.
However, it is this mutation in the F8 gene that reduces blood clotting factor levels. This causes the blood clotting process to not run completely.
Genetic mutations are usually inherited from parents. This is why most cases of this disease occur because the patient’s parents also have hemophilia A. However, it is possible for this disease to arise even if the patient does not have a parent who has hemophilia.
Reporting from the site Genetic Home ReferenceThis type of acquired hemophilia can result from:
- abnormalities in the body’s immune system
- allergic reactions to certain drugs
- other unknown causes
What increases the risk of developing hemophilia A?
The biggest risk factor for hemophilia A is having a family member or parent who has a blood clotting disorder or a mutated gene. Babies who are later born have a high risk of developing this disease.
Diagnosis and treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.
What tests are done to diagnose hemophilia A?
This disease is caused by genetic factors, so the examination is usually carried out immediately when a new baby is born to a parent who has hemophilia. It is important to know whether there is a risk of hemophilia A in the baby in the future.
This disease can also be detected through a blood clotting factor concentration test to find out the levels of clotting factors in the blood.
Some cases of severe hemophilia will usually be detected soon after the baby is born. Meanwhile, mild and moderate levels are usually not known until the patient is an adult. Usually, a person only finds out that he has hemophilia after undergoing a surgical procedure or an accident.
What are the treatment options for hemophilia A?
It is important to note that until now there is no cure for hemophilia A completely. The existing drugs aim to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
Treatment given to people with hemophilia A depends on the severity. For cases classified as severe, the main treatment includes injections to replace the blood clotting factors that are lost from the body.
This injection can be donated blood, or a drug called a recombinant clotting factor. The drug is manufactured in such a way that it contains particles that mimic blood clotting factors in humans.
The injection can be done alone at home to prevent excessive bleeding or spontaneous bleeding. Generally, treatment should be lifelong.
However, there are also other treatments that are aimed at people with mild and moderate hemophilia. Drugs such as desmopressin (DDAVP) are given to clot the blood when there is an injury, or as a form of prevention before the patient undergoes surgery.
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that help with this disease?
This disease cannot be cured, but hemophilia A patients can still live a healthy life by following these tips:
- Routinely do medical check-ups to the doctor
- Follow your doctor’s instructions and directions regarding what to do if there is bleeding or injury
- Avoid using blood thinners, such as warfarin or heparin
- Always maintain oral and dental hygiene in order to avoid dental problems that trigger bleeding
- Use a helmet or seat belt, and ride with care
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to find out the best solution for your condition.