17 April: World Haemophilia Day
World Haemophilia Day was observed globally on 17 April 2015 with theme Building a family of support. The day provides an opportunity to talk to your extended family and friends, colleagues, and caregivers to raise awareness and increase support for those living with an inherited bleeding disorder.
Hemophilia day was established in 1989 with the support of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). The date of 17 April was chosen to honor Frank Schnabel the founder of WFH, whose birthday falls on the same date.
It is the oldest known genetic bleeding disorder and is caused by a deficiency in the genes and impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. It is a disease that transmits at birth from an affected father to daughter, who then becomes a carrier of the hemophilia cells who is at higher risk of passing the defective gene on to her children.
Types of hemophilia
There are two types of hemophilia and each type is linked to a low level of a certain clotting factor.
• Hemophilia A: It is the more common type and is linked to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8). The disease is present in about 1 in 5000 to 10000 male births.
• Hemophilia B: It is rarer and is associated with low levels of clotting factor IX (9). The disease occurs in around 1 in about 20000–34000 male births.
Hemophilia is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and testing the levels of clotting factor VIII & IX. The disease is not curable, but with proper knowledge and treatment it can be handled.
Causes of Acquired Bleeding Disorders
• Deficiency of Vitamin K
• Malfunction of Liver
• Inability of Bone marrow in producing enough platelets
• Excessive Blood transfusion
• Intake of a specific drugs (sulfa antibiotics or quinine may decrease number of platelets)
• Platelet count may diminish due to the presence of medical conditions like leukemia, HIV, kidney failure, liver disorder, multiple myeloma and others
When: 17 April 2015