Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder that prevents blood from clotting normally. Present from birth, the condition is normally inherited. In rare cases, hemophilia may develop later in life. World Hemophilia Day on April 17 aims to increase support for those living with this bleeding disorder and encourage people to raise awareness about the condition among their extended family and friends, colleagues and caregivers. Supported by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), Hemophilia Awareness Day was established in 1989.
According to a report from National Hemophilia Foundation, the number of people living with the condition in the United States is about 20,000. While Hemophilia A is linked to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8), Hemophilia B is associated with low levels of clotting factor IX (9). Hemophilia A is about four times as common as hemophilia B. Approximately 75% of people with hemophilia around the world still receive inadequate treatment or have no access to treatment. Raising awareness about this bleeding disorder is important to inform them about appropriate screening and treatment methods.
Diagnosis involves blood collection for screening tests and clotting factor tests. Screening blood tests show if the blood is clotting properly while clotting factor tests or factor assays indicate the type of hemophilia and its severity. Types of tests performed include:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) Test: measures the amount of hemoglobin, the size and number of red blood cells and numbers of different types of white blood cells and platelets found in blood.
- Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) Test: measures the clotting ability of factors VIII (8), IX (9), XI (11), and XII (12) to check the time taken by blood to clot.
- Fibrinogen Test: helps assess the patient’s ability to form a blood clot.
Leading suppliers of laboratory items offer quality coagulation testing products. For instance, the Pacific Hemostasis Fibrinogen Assay Set and Controls from Thermo Scientific provides a quantitative plasma fibrinogen determination for diagnosing acquired and congenital hemorrhagic disorders. It is a suitable option for both low and high volume labs and can be used with most coagulation systems.
This World Hemophilia Day, WFH invites people with the condition to visit the Global Family Tree and share their stories, photos, and experiences as part of the community.