If your child suffers natural bruises that bleed for a long time or experiences unexplained nosebleeds, pain in the joints or passes blood in the urine or stool, you need to sit up and take note immediately.
It is pertinent to educate young parents-to-be about the possibility of having a haemophilic child, its challenges and preparedness. Haemophilia is an acquired-at-birth disorder, which is more common in children with a family history of haemophilia. However, even without a family history, it is possible to have kids with this dangerous blood clotting disorder. Almost one-third of children born with haemophilia have no family history of this disorder. However, despite treatment and management options advancing significantly over the past two decades, awareness remains low about the genetic disorder.
In haemophilia, the person has a deficiency of clotting factor, which is a protein required for normal blood clotting. As a result, the patient suffers from prolonged bleeding. In case of accidents or injury, this can develop into a life-threatening condition. More dangerous is the possibility of internal bleeding. Sometimes bleeding can even occur in joints, causing pain and discomfort.
Dr Satish Koul, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital says, “Till 2-3 decades back, the prognosis of haemophilia patients was poor. Also, due to the lack of efficient blood screening mechanisms, there was a risk during blood transfusions. However, the treatment now allows the child to live a normal life. Parents should know about haemophilia and should be aware of the signs and symptoms in their kids. Diagnosis and timely treatment with some caution can allow the child normal unhindered growth.”
Today, it is possible to determine if you are a haemophilia carrier even before pregnancy with medical genetics. One can also check if the fetus is affected by haemophilia. If you know that your child has haemophilia, you can be better prepared for the challenges.
Treat on Time
Dr Verinder Anand, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Moolchand Medcity, says, “The primary treatment is injecting the deficient clotting factor into the bloodstream. It may be needed regularly, or just when bleeding occurs. Replacement Therapy is also an important method to treat haemophilia. It is done by replacing the missing or limited clotting factor. The treatment involves preventive or prophylactic therapy, which is given regularly.
Dr Koul shares a few tips for the parents to manage haemophilia in their kids:
Medicines to promote clots and healing: Some medications: Both oral and topical medicines are given and applied in case of an injury to reduce clotting and promote and enhance healing.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercising keeps the joints in good health and reduces the risk of joint damage due to internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can lead to clots. Patients should avoid playing cricket, football or hockey as even mild injuries can result in heavy bleeding and blood clots in the body. Activities like wrestling, boxing are a strict no.
Good dental hygiene: People with haemophilia need to guard strictly against dental problems as a tooth extraction can cause a lot of bleeding. You do not want a tooth extraction to kill you.
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