Hemophilia is a lifelong bleeding disorder that prevents blood from dotting properly. Hemophilia is the deficiency of a clotting factor in the blood that causes a person to bleed uncontrollably from mild injuries.
A person with hemophilia does not bleed faster than anyone else, but bleeding may last longer. The main danger is uncontrolled internal bleeding that starts spontaneously or results from injury. Bleeding into joints and muscles can cause stiffness, pain, severe joint damage, disability, and sometimes death.
Hemophilia is inherited accruing most often in males. It also rarely occurs in females. Approximately one male of every four thousand in Pakistan inherits Hemophilia from the mother. About one third of new cases are caused by a new mutation of the gene in the mother or the child. In these cases, there is no previous history of hemophilia in the family.
When the father has hemophilia but the mother does not, none of the sons will inherit hemophilia, but all of the daughters will carry the gene. Women who have the hemophilia gene are called carriers, and they can pass it on to their children. When the mother is a carrier and the father does not have hemophilia, for each child there is a 50% chance that a son will have hemophilia and a 50% chance that a daughter will carry the gene.
Effective treatment for hemophilia is available, but as yet there is no cure. Hemophilia is treated by replacing the missing clotting factor in the blood. This is done by injecting a product that contains the needed factor into a vein. With proper treatment, people with hemophilia live relatively normal lives. Without treatment, most children with severe hemophilia will die young.
The treatment of hemophilia is still extremely expensive in Pakistan. As people suffering from hemophilia have a full life-span, they have to bear the heavy costs of being threaded for an entire lifetime. The average cost of treatment is usually over 150,000 (Pak rupees) annually. Complications can cause expenses to exceed this. The Pakistan Hemophilia Patients Welfare SocietyÂ© is striving to close this gap.