Hereditary factor VIII deficiency disease also called Hemophilia A is a disease that results in an individual missing factor VIII, which is a protein that allows the blood to clot. Blood clotting is important because it is how the body stops excessive bleeding both under the skin and when the skin is broken.
The main symptoms include bleeding longer than normal from small cuts or dental procedures and bruising easily. Bleeding can also occur internally in the joints and muscles. The most serious form of Hemophilia A can result in spontaneous bleeding episodes.
Hemophilia A is caused by a change (mutation) in the genes, and is passed down from parents to their children. This disease is usually diagnosed after the symptoms appear. Often babies or children will have unusual bleeding after a small dental procedure or large lumps appear on the head after it is bumped. If an individual has low levels of factor VIII they are usually diagnosed earlier in life (before age 5) because their bleeding is more obvious to caretakers. In more mild forms of this disease, individuals are diagnosed later in life, sometimes well into adulthood. Doctors confirm a diagnosis by performing blood tests and getting a family history of disease since Hemophilia A is hereditary. If a pregnant mother knows she is a carrier for the disease, doctors can perform prenatal tests to determine if the baby will have the disease.
Treatment involves medication that boosts factor VIII levels in the blood, and it is often recommended that individuals stay away from high contact activities in order to prevent the chance of a severe bleed. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, talk to your doctor about the the best treatment options for you.
Description Last Updated: Jan 15, 2018