Hemophilia is usually an inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly, however, in 30% of hemophilia cases there is no family history of hemophilia.
Blood contains many proteins called clotting factors that help to stop bleeding. People with hemophilia have low levels of either factor VIII (8) or factor IX (9), referred to as hemophilia A and B respectively. This can lead to spontaneous bleeding into muscles, organs and joints as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.
The severity of hemophilia that a person has is determined by the amount of clotting factor in the blood, and is described as mild, moderate, or severe.
Hemophilia affects roughly 20,000 individuals in the US.
Hemophilia with Inhibitors
People with hemophilia a or b can develop an immune response to clotting factor in which antibodies attack the medication. A person who develops an inhibitor will require special treatment until their body stops making inhibitors.