World Haemophilia Day is today. But do you know what it means? Did you know that you can help people with this disease? Firstly we have to understand what it is. Haemophilia is a disorder in blood clotting. For example: When we cut some part of our body and begin to bleed, the proteins (elements responsible for the growth and development of all tissues of the body) take action to stop bleeding. This process is called coagulation. People with haemophilia do not have these proteins and therefore bleed more than normal. There are several blood clotting factors that act in a particular sequence. At the end of this sequence the clot is formed and the bleeding is interrupted. In a person with haemophilia, one of these factors does not work. Thus, the clot does not form and bleeding continues.
Types of those who need your blood
Haemophilia is classified into types A and B. People with type A haemophilia are deficient in factor VIII. On the other hand, people with haemophilia type B are deficient in factor IX. Bleeding is the same in both types, but the severity of bleeding depends on the amount of factor present in the plasma (fluid that accounts for 55% of the total blood volume).
Hemophilia is a genetic disease, that is, transmitted from parents to children at the time the child is born.
The treatment is done with the intravenous replacement (by the vein) of the deficient factor. But for the treatment to be complete, the patient should be tested regularly and never use medications that are not recommended by physicians.
How you can help?
In Ireland you can get more information about blood donation on the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. At first you must be over 18 years old to be able to donate. If you are between 65 and 69 years old and have never given blood before, then you cannot donate. However, if you have given blood in the last 10 years then you can give blood. If you are 70 years or over and you have given blood in the last 2 years and you have a certificate of fitness from your GP, you can give blood.
But if you want to help, find out how a little of your blood may be the missing drop to keep someone alive click the Clinic Finder near you.
By Rodrigo Valadares