Dubai Hospital held a Haemophilia awareness campaign to spread awareness about the bleeding disorder.
The awareness campaign took place at the Hospital’s lobby and participants included Haemphilia patients and their families, visitors, medical fraternity and volunteers.
Haemophilia, a hereditary genetic disorder prevents the blood from clotting, this leads to patients bleeding internally and in severe cases bleeding takes place in joints and muscles leading to disability. In some cases bleeding in the brain can lead to death. Haemophilia A (clotting factor VIII deficiency) is the most common form of the disorder, present in about 1 in 5,000–10,000 male births.
Haemophilia B (factor IX deficiency) occurs in around 1 in about 20,000–34,000 male births. Rarely Haemoplilia C can affect women but mainly the disease affects men.
Dr Hadeel Ammar, specialist registrar at Dubai Hospital’s haematology department, said, “The first step is prevention of the disease. Therefore if someone has the disease they should undergo premarital screening to avoid the chances of transmitting the disease to their off spring. For parents who have a child with the disease early intervention and educating the child early on about the disease, how to manage it, dos and don’ts is very important.”
Dr Amna Al Mehairi, specialist registrar at Dubai Hospital’s haematology department, said, “Treatment for the disease is in the form of replacing the deficient blood clotting factor VIII, by administering regular injections. With treatment, most people with haemophilia can live a normal life. However, there are some things they must be careful of. For example, they cannot play contact sports such as football or rugby. They also need to be careful taking other medications because some medicines can interfere with their blood’s ability to clot. Common examples of these include aspirin and ibuprofen. When children are young , parents need to educate them about this but as they grow older they need to be taught to self-administer the injections specially if they are in school or outside home and experience a bleeding episode.”
She said, “The disease can be either mild, moderate or severe. In hospitals we mostly receive the moderate or severe cases and if it’s an emergency, treatment is free until the patient is stabilised. However, once the patient is discharged, they need to continue regular weekly injections.” She added, “The injections are very expensive and therefore put a burden on the patient and his family.”
Those interested to financially support these patients or volunteer their time and services, may contact Dubai Hospital at 2195000 and ask to be connected to the Haematology section.