Blog Archive

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hemophilia Myths and Facts



Myths are stories or beliefs created to explain phenomena when scientific knowledge is lacking. Sometimes they persist even when scientific explanations are available, because people can get emotionally impacted by myths. When it comes to blood, people have strong emotional beliefs and feelings, and this may prolong myths. So read this nifty list of myths which includes the facts that dispel the myth. You can download a pdf of this with graphics here.  Enjoy!




Hemophilia is a medical condition that impairs the body’s ability to control bleeding. There are about 20,000 people with hemophilia in the United States and with the condition being so rare, many people may not know much about it. Below we dispel 10 common myths to help you better understand hemophilia.

MYTH
FACT
If a person with hemophilia gets a minor cut, they’ll bleed to death.
People with hemophilia don’t bleed faster, but they do bleed longer because they’re missing a protein in their blood that assists in forming stable clots. Minor cuts are not a cause for concern and will usually heal on their own.1
Only males have hemophilia.
It’s true that hemophilia does primarily affect males because it’s an X chromosome-linked medical condition.1,2 However, females who are carriers can also experience bleeding symptoms. Though extremely rare, a daughter who is born to a father with hemophilia and a mother who is a carrier can inherit the severe form of the condition.3
People with hemophilia always have a family history of the condition.
Nearly one-third of hemophilia cases are not genetically based and have no family history of the condition.1
All people who have hemophilia are diagnosed at birth.
Due to a lack of bleeding at birth or because the family doesn’t have a history of hemophilia, some people who have hemophilia may not be diagnosed until months after birth, as toddlers, or even later, depending on the severity of their
medical condition.4,5
Children with hemophilia will grow out of it.
Hemophilia is a lifelong condition, a bleeding disorder caused by the absence of an essential blood clotting protein.1 While there is no available cure for hemophilia, research continues to progress and shows promise. Scientists are currently researching how gene therapy can help the body produce its own clotting factor.2
Hemophilia is the same for all patients.
People can have hemophilia A, which is defined by low levels of clotting factor VIII (8), or hemophilia B, defined by low levels of clotting factor IX (9).1,3 The severity of hemophilia is categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.1 Additionally, about 15% to 20% of people with hemophilia will develop an antibody—also called an inhibitor—which is one of the most serious complications of the condition.6
People with hemophilia shouldn’t exercise or play sports.
Exercise is important for people with hemophilia because it strengthens muscles, which helps protect joints, and reduces the risk of being overweight, which places added stress on joints. They should work with their health care professional to create a fitness plan that’s right for them.7
Hemophilia is a “royal disease.”
While it’s true that in the 1800s hemophilia did affect the royal family of Queen Victoria of England, hemophilia affects people regardless of race, ethnicity or economic status.2,4
Hemophilia causes AIDS.
Hemophilia doesn’t cause HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, from 1978–1985, many people with hemophilia did contract HIV when they received treatments made from tainted blood donations. The blood supply is now much safer due to improved donor screening and advanced purification methods, and also, many newer treatments aren’t made from donated human blood. There hasn’t been a documented case of HIV from the use of hemophilia treatments since 1987.2
People with hemophilia can’t live normal lives.
With proper treatment, most people with
hemophilia lead long, full, and productive lives.4

References
1.    National Hemophilia Foundation. Hemophilia A. https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Hemophilia-A. Accessed November 3, 2015.
2.    National Hemophilia Foundation. History of Bleeding Disorders. https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/History-of-Bleeding-Disorders. Accessed November 3, 2015.
3.    Midwest Hemophilia Association. Myths and Facts About Hemophilia. http://midwesthemophilia.org/what-is-hemophilia-bleeding-disorders/hemophilia-blood-disordersfacts-myths. Accessed November 3, 2015.
4.    Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, Inc. Hemophilia Awareness Month – Fast Facts for Patients. http://www.ihtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Hemophilia%20Awareness%20-%20Fast%20Facts%20for%20Patients.pdf. Accessed November 3, 2015.
5.    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hemophilia Diagnosis. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/diagnosis.html. Accessed June 7, 2016.
6.    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hemophilia Inhibitors. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/inhibitors.html. Accessed June 13, 2016.
7.    National Hemophilia Foundation. Playing It Safe: Bleeding Disorders, Sports, and Exercise. https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/PlayingItSafe.pdf. Accessed November 3, 2015.

Novo Nordisk is a registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
© 2016 Novo Nordisk           All rights reserved.                USA16HDM02573                  July 2016

 
Bayer