THE Mindanao Hemophilia Center (MHC) reports that there are 142 diagnosed cases of hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally, in Davao City as of May 2013.
Hermatologist Dr. Jennie Ong, who was a guest during Friday's edition of Kapehan sa PIA, said there are two types of hemophilia: A and B. Those with type A are missing or have low levels of clotting factor VIII (8) while those with type B are missing or have low levels of clotting factor IX (9).
Based on the data they got from the national registry, 82 percent or 117 of the patients are diagnosed with type A while 18 percent or 25 patients are with type B.
"Most of the patients diagnosed are those who are below five years old since that is the time when most of the patients manifest the symptoms of the disorder," Ong said.
She said the youngest patient they are treating right now is a one year old child from Kidapawan while the oldest patient is 53 years old from Davao City.
Ong said that one in five thousand is afflicted with the disorder which is hereditary.
According to the World Hemophilia Federation (WFH) "the hemophilia gene is passed down from parent to a child. The genes for hemophilia A and B are on the X chromosome. For this reason, hemophilia is called an X-linked (or sex-linked) disorder."
Ong said that in most cases, it is the mother who is the carrier of the disorder and it is the son who is always diagnosed with the disease.
"Women have the XX chromosomes, and in this disorder one of the X chromosomes is affected. Since boys have XY chromosomes, majority of them are affected by the disorder if it is a girl they are most likely to become a carrier too," she said.
WFH said "women can only have hemophilia if their father has hemophilia and their mother is a carrier. This is very uncommon. In rare cases, a person can develop hemophilia later in life. The majority of cases involve middle-aged or elderly people, or young women who have recently given birth or are in the later stages of pregnancy."
Current treatments available for individuals with hemophilia are: factor concentrates, cryoprecipitate, and fresh frozen plasma.
Signs and symptoms for both types are: big bruises, bleeding into muscles and joints, spontaneous bleeding (sudden bleeding inside the body for no clear reason), prolonged bleeding after getting a cut, removing a tooth, or having surgery, bleeding for a long time after an accident, especially after an injury to the head.
Ong said those who have hemophilia may go to MHC at the Brokenshire Hospital for treatment. They have trained personnel who know how to treat patients with hemophilia.
There is also the Hemophilia Association of Davao which currently has 61 members.