People with hemophilia may bleed excessively from cuts and other wounds, and can experience spontaneous internal bleeding. Hemophilia is a disorder in which the blood does not clot as it should, due to low levels of certain proteins called clotting factors. Bleeding events, in hemophilia, can cause damage to your tissues or organs, and it can be life-threatening. In most cases, hemophilia is an inherited disorder. Acquired hemophilia, is a rare autoimmune disorder.
Hemophilia Dangers and Complications
One of the dangers of hemophilia is bleeding inside the body, which can be caused by trauma, and can also happen spontaneously. This includes:
- Bleeding into the joints
- Bleeding in the muscles
- Bleeding in the esophagus, stomach or intestine
- Bleeding in the brain
- Bleeding in the spinal cord
Bleeding in the joints can cause arthritis and permanent damage to the joints Bleeding in the brain can of course, be fatal. Those who survive can suffer permanent impairment. Bleeding in the soft tissues can lead to the development of pseudotumors which can erode bone, requiring amputation.
Because people with hemophilia are more likely to need blood transfusions, they face an increased risk of receiving contaminated blood causing infections such as HIV and hepatitis.
Inherited or Acquired Hemophilia
Inherited hemophilia is passed from parent to child, genetically, and the gene can be passed by parents who did not have hemophilia themselves. It is usually diagnosed in infancy or early childhood.
Acquired hemophilia develops later in life. It is an autoimmune disorder in which your own immune system attacks your clotting factors. Acquired hemophilia is often associated with medical conditions, such as cancer, asthma, or pregnancy. It can also develop as a reaction to certain drugs.