Hemophilia is a condition that lacks blood particles that are responsible for clotting blood. As a result, people with this condition will tend to experience bleeding that is difficult to stop. This rare condition can cause serious complications. Then, what are the dangers and complications that can arise from hemophilia? Find out the complete information below.
Overview of the disease hemophilia
When you are injured and bleeding, normally the body automatically fuses the blood cells to clot with the help of blood clotting factors. The two of them will work together and stop the bleeding from the wound. Lack of blood clotting factors in the body can cause you to experience hemophilia.
There are several types of hemophilia and most of them occur because they are genetically inherited. Symptoms that appear in each person who has hemophilia are different, depending on the severity of the disease.
Scratches on the elbows and knees are not really a big deal. However, in people with hemophilia, this condition is very dangerous. Continuous bleeding will result in injury to tissues and organs. If you notice a wound that has difficulty stopping blood, accompanied by head and neck pain, repeated vomiting, and blurred vision, seek medical attention immediately.
Complications and dangers of hemophilia
As previously explained, bleeding in people with hemophilia is different from bleeding in normal people because it can be fatal. Therefore, hemophilia sufferers need special treatment so that bleeding does not lead to complications.
The following are various kinds of dangers or complications that can occur if hemophilia is not treated immediately:
According to Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, inhibitors are one of the most serious and serious complications of hemophilia. Inhibitors are more common in type A hemophilia patients, rather than type B.
This condition occurs when antibodies or the immune system attack proteins that trigger blood clotting, namely clotting factor VIII and IX proteins.
Under normal conditions, antibodies do work to protect the body from external threats, such as bacterial or viral infections. However, in cases of worsening hemophilia, the antibodies will actually turn against the clotting factors, making bleeding even more difficult to treat.
Inhibitors in severe cases of hemophilia usually occur when the patient is very young and begins to undergo intravenous treatment. In cases of mild or moderate hemophilia, inhibitors appear when the patient has just had major surgery.
Usually, doctors and the medical team will provide medication that can help the body not attack these blood clotting factors. This treatment is called immune tolerance therapy or ITI.
2. Problems with joints and bones
Another danger or complication of hemophilia that needs to be watched out for is damage to the bones and joints. This condition usually occurs in the connective tissue of the muscles (synovium) and cartilage.
In the synovium there are blood vessels, so that the part is prone to bleeding (hemarthrosis). When there is bleeding within the joint, the symptoms can include:
- tingling in the joint area
- stiff feeling
Over time, bleeding in these joints can cause the synovium to become severely inflamed and damaged. This inflammation of the synovium is also called synovitis.
Apart from synovitis, another danger due to hemophilia that can affect joints is hemophilic arthropathy. This condition is the result of bleeding in the synovium and cartilage that continues for a long time, causing permanent damage to the joints.
To prevent further damage to joints and bones, you should immediately apply ice to the affected joints and bones, then lift the body parts higher.
However, if the joint and bone damage is severe enough, the doctor or medical team will usually recommend surgical procedures to remove the synovium, or replace the damaged joints and cartilage with metal or plastic materials.
3. Bleeding in the digestive system
Internal bleeding can be a serious problem in people with hemophilia, such as bleeding in the digestive system. The digestive system can experience problems and sores, for example when triggered by a stomach ulcer. In fact, stomach ulcers can pose a serious danger to people with hemophilia.
According to the journal Gastroenterology, approximately 53-85% of cases of digestive system bleeding in people with hemophilia are caused by gastric ulcers. Continuous bleeding can spread to the digestive system, so that blood will appear in vomit and feces. The blood will look like coffee grounds or be dark red in color.
Generally, treatment to treat bleeding in the digestive system in people with hemophilia is done through an IV to regulate normal levels of blood clotting factors.
Apart from digestion, blood can build up in the urethra, causing blood to appear in the urine. This is called hematuria.
This condition will cause pain in the lower part of the stomach because the urine (urine) that comes out of the bladder is blocked by blood. This bleeding is usually not dangerous if treated promptly.
Another danger that lurks people with hemophilia is anemia. Continuous bleeding causes the red blood cell count to drop far from normal levels.
If this condition occurs, the body will experience fatigue, body weakness, and headaches. Anemia can be treated by receiving a blood transfusion.
5. Intracranial bleeding
Intracranial bleeding is a type of bleeding that occurs in the brain. Usually, this condition is caused by trauma from an injury to the head.
In people with hemophilia, a simple lump on the head can even cause danger in the form of bleeding in the brain. This condition is very rare, but can result in brain damage or death.
6. Compartment syndrome
Compartment syndrome occurs when bleeding in a muscle puts pressure on the arteries and nerves inside the muscle. Gradually, this condition can cause damage to the muscles and cause severe pain.
However, this syndrome has a very low incidence of hemophilia sufferers. An effective treatment for this is surgical procedures fasciotomy.