An Overview of Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B

An Overview of Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B

Hemophilia is a type of genetic disorder impedes the bodies ability to clot. Considered a very serious blood-clotting disorder, hemophiliacs are void of the specific protein required for blood to clot, which means they bleed too much or can’t stop bleeding. Even a minor abrasion can be very dangerous for a hemophiliac. Internal bleeding or bruising can also be dangerous and even fatal if the patient doesn’t know the bleed exists.

Hemophilia is caused by a genetic gene mutation, so patients are born with the disorder that’s typically passed down from a parent, often in mothers to baby sons. Thus, males are most often diagnosed with hemophilia while females tend to be carriers of the disorder.

Hemophilia exists in type A and B. Here are the main differences:

  • Hemophilia A and B are both caused when patients lack a specific protein required for blood clotting.
  • Hemophilia A is the most common form, affecting 1 in 10,000 patients.
  • Hemophilia B is rarer, with 1 in 50,000 cases.
  • Both A and B patients are born with hemophilia.
  • Most cases are diagnosed in very early childhood.
  • Patients with hemophilia B are lacking in clotting factor 9 (or IX).
  • While hemophilia A patients don’t have adequate clotting factor 8 (or VIII).

Hemophilia is can be a dangerous and fatal disorder due to the fact that a very minor bump or head injury can cause internal bleeding and even bleeding in the brain. If a parent or caregiver suspects an internal bleed, seek emergency medical care immediately. Luckily, hemophilia A and B present with similar symptoms, including:

1. Unexplained nosebleeds
Sudden and unexplained nosebleeds, which often come on with no source of impact or injury.

2. Blood in urine
The presence of trace amounts of blood in urine and often in stool as well.

3. Bruising
Easy and severe bruising, which results from minor impacts and takes a very long time to heal.

4. Blood loss
Excessive blood loss after a minor cut or abrasion.

5. Excessive bleeding
Bleeding that won’t stop, or bleeding that stops and starts again following an injury or surgery.

6. Suspect internal bleeds
Signs of internal bleeding may occur after an injury (i.e., pain and swelling in muscles).

7. Bleeding on the brain
After a minor head bump or impact, bleeding on the brain is possible in hemophiliacs. Look for telltale signs including headache, fatigue, confusion, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting, and lack of coordination.