Hemophilia is a genetically male-inherited disease whereby sufferers lack a plasma protein that allows their blood to clot properly. To ameliorate this deficiency, the hemophiliac must be on lifelong treatment of plasma or synthetic-plasma product which supplies the blood protein intravenously. In addition to causing external, unstoppable, and visible bleeding, a low clotting level normally results in internal bleeding to joint and muscle tissue as well. Joint and muscle bleeding then leads to further complications such as joint damage, arthritis, and general physical disabilities. An accidental external cut is unlikely to be a hemophiliac’s demise while cranial bleeding is his greatest nemesis.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that 20,000 hemophiliacs live in the US. With approximately 1 in every 5000 male births affected by hemophilia, close to 400 hemophilic babies are born each year.
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