Doha, – On the occasion of World Hemophilia Day which is recognized on 17 April each year, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is urging women who have experienced symptoms of a bleeding disorder to get screened for hemophilia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes hemophilia as a hereditary bleeding disorder due to a partial or total lack of an essential blood clotting factor. Common symptoms of the bleeding disorder include frequent nosebleeds, unexplained and uncontrolled bleeding and bruising.

“When a person without hemophilia bleeds, normal levels of clotting factor – a protein in the blood – causes the blood to clot and the bleeding to stop. However, hemophiliacs (people with hemophilia) have lower levels of clotting factor in their blood and bleeding continues for much longer periods,” explained Clinical Pharmacist at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) Dr Ahmed Abdulaziz Abdelbari.

“An affected individual can bleed profusely for a longer time after trauma. These hemorrhages commonly occur in joints, especially the knees, ankles and elbows, and into tissues and muscles. Hemophiliac women are particularly at risk of excessive postpartum bleeding following childbirth, and can experience prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding. They may require an iron supplement and sometimes need to undergo a hysterectomy (a surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus). This is why it is important for women who carry the hemophilia gene to be aware of their status,” Dr Abdelbari stated.

The WHO says hemophilia A is the most common form, referred to as classical hemophilia, which is the result of a deficiency in clotting factor 8. Hemophilia B is a deficiency in clotting factor 9 and is a gender-linked recessive disorder.

“Blood tests can determine the presence of the hemophilia condition, and more specifically whether it is a type A or a type B disease. It is always advisable for women to know their carrier status before becoming pregnant so they are better prepared to cope with their bleeding disorder. Families should consult their physician for advice and counseling about testing,” added Dr Abdelbari. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency