Otherwise known as the Christmas disease

During the early 1960's, Dr. Judith Pool discovered a new disease called Hemophilia. Hemophilia, also known as the Christmas disease, is a single gene mutation bleeding disorder caused by not having the blood clotting factor VIII or IX. This means that the body has a hard time stopping any bleeding. There are two types of Hemophilia; Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B. Hemophilia A is due to the lack of blood clotting factor VIII, while Hemophilia B is due to the lack of blood clotting factor IX. While Hemophilia may be hard to live with, as long as the treatments prescribed by doctors are followed correctly, there is no life expectancy because of Hemophilia. The picture at right shows the amount of blood people with Hemophilia may bleed with a small cut.
Someone with hemophilia is prone to the long list of symptoms that come with the disease. The symptoms include:

  • Bleeding into joints which causes swelling, pain, or tightness in joints like the knees, elbows, and ankles
  • Bleeding into skin which is better known as bruising
  • Bleeding into muscle and soft tissue which causes a build up of blood in the area which is called a hematoma
  • Mouth and gums bleed
  • Bleeding after a surgery
  • Excessive bleeding after shots like vaccinations
  • Bleeding in a baby's head after a hard delivery
  • Bleeding in urine
  • Recurrent nosebleeds (Difficult to stop)
  • Random bleeding
If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is recommended that you are tested for hemophilia. To diagnose someone with hemophilia, a doctor must complete a series of blood tests called a coagulation study. There is no complete way to prevent hemophilia but there are treatments for it. In order to treat this disease, you must replace the missing blood clot factor. This can be done by putting commercially prepared factor concentrates into the vain. Patients can preform infusions on a regular basis after learning how to do it by themselves. This treatment should prevent most bleeding, but not all. If you or someone you know does have hemophilia, then there are a wide variety of support groups around the world. Just a few include the New England Hemophilia Association, the Hemophilia Community, and the Comprehensive Bleeding Disorder Network. The picture at left shows how Hemophilia may be inherited.

National Hemophilia Foundation

The picture at left is the logo for the National Hemophilia Foundation.