Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hemophilia is a blood disorder that is almost always inherited, although other certain health factors can cause similar symptoms.  The main issue with hemophiliacs is that their blood refuses to clot, or has difficulty doing so anyway, so that ordinary cuts and bruises that a person gets in the day-to-day happenings of life can actually be life threatening.  A person can bleed to death in some circumstances, and if they cannot get medical attention quickly enough to have clotting factor injected into their bloodstream.

In the old days of European monarchs, so much intermarrying occurred among royal families, that by the 1800s most of them had hemophiliacs among their family members.

There are several varieties of hemophilia, and most are differentiated by the lack of a different clotting factor that ends with the same result of profuse bleeding and bruising.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hemophilia is known as bleeder's disease, and is carried on the X chromosome. Males have one X and females have two X chromosomes. If capital X represents a normal gene on the X chromosome and X- represents the gene for hemophilia, there are several genotypes to consider. In males, they can be XY(normal male), or X-Y(bleeder male). In females, XX(normal female), X-X(carrier female, with one normal and one hemophilia gene) and X-X-(female hemophiliac). The chances of a female getting a hemophilia gene from each  parent is low. However, since males only get one X from their mother, if it contains the hemophilia gene, then they would get a disease phenotype. This disease is the inability to form a blood clot when a blood vessel is injured.

william1941 | Student

Hemophilia is in most cases an inherited disorder which passes from parents to their offspring. In hemophilia, the blood in the person who has it cannot clot on its own. When blood vessels of normal people get injured, various proteins make the platelets stick together and form a plug that prevents blood from flowing out and the blood vessels heal. In hemophiliacs the clotting factors are not present. This results in blood continuously flowing out of a damaged blood vessel and can potentially kill the person. The person has to be given clotting factors through injections to make the flow of blood stop.

eli468 | Student

To break down the word, hemo is latin for blood and philia means having a tendency towards. Therefore hemophilia is a tendency towards blood. Hemophilia is a rare disorder that causes excess bleeding when an injury occurs. It also causes a longer bleeding time and a higher likelihood to have internal bleeding around knees, ankles and elbows.

Hemophilia is typically inherited. The reason for the excessive bleeding is a rare genetic problem that causes the person to have little or no clotting factor. In order for bleeding to stop in people without hemophilia, platelets come to clot up the injured site. That's why when someone gets a cut, they have a scab afterwards. The scab is actually the site where platelets, among other things, came to help block the site and stop the bleeding. Hemophiliacs don't have this.

There are two types of hemophilia; Type A and Type B. Around 80% of people have Type A, which is were a person is missing or has very low levels of a certain clotting factor VIII. Those with Type B are missing or have low levels of clotting factor IX.

The only time hemophilia is not inherited is if the human body forms antibodies that will attack the clotting factors and prevent them from working. 

Hemophiliacs are typically treated through replacement therapy. This is where they are infused with concentrations of clotting factor (which factor depends on which type they are) to help replace the clotting factor that is low or non-existent.

There are other treatments such as medicines and gene therapy.

mirmirnotez | Student

Hemophilia is a blood disorder that causes a person to bleed non-stop once they get a cut, bruise, or any other type of abrasion.


Hope this helps! :D

ashkuehn | Student

Blood clotting is a very complicated multi step process with many substances involved.  In hemophilia A, the most common form of the disease is a genetic inability to produce Clotting Factor VIII.  The clotting cascade cannot be complete without it.