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A hemophiliac is a someone with a genetic bleeding disorder that thwarts blood's ability to form a proper clot. Without effective blood clotting, internal injuries and large external lacerations cannot heal properly. People can bleed to death as a result, if not properly treated. Of the two, internal hemorrages give more to worry about. Small external wounds are not as serious.

Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B are inherited as sex-linked recessive disorders occurring almost exclusively in males. Hemophilia occurs in about 1 in 5,000 males born in the United States and Canada. It is found in all ethnic groups in all parts of the world. Approximately 13,500 Americans have hemophilia A (also called classic hemophilia), in which clotting factor VIII either is absent or is not present in sufficient amounts. Approximately 3,500 people in the U.S. have hemophilia B (also called Christmas disease), in which clotting factor IX either is absent or is not present in sufficient amounts. In Canada, about 2,000 people have hemophilia A, while approximately 450 have hemophilia B.

The only way to detect hemophilia is through a blood test to measure the clotting factor level. If hemophilia is known to run in a family, newborn babies should be tested. You can test for hemophilia A when a baby is born. The blood can be drawn from the umbilical cord. With hemophilia B, the factor IX level might register as higher in a newborn baby than it will later, because some of the mother’s factor might have passed to the baby before birth. If the test is done later, it will show the factor IX level the baby can expect to have for the rest of his life.

A person can have mild, moderate, or severe hemophilia, depending on how much working clotting factor he has in his body. Whether a person has mild, moderate, or severe hemophilia does not change. The number and type of bleeds might change, however, depending on how healthy and active the person is. Family members with hemophilia usually have the same clotting factor level.

Technically, the differences among the three levels of factor deficiency relate to the activity level of the factor, not its absence. People can have a normal amount of factor, but it might function at a reduced level of efficiency, and levels are usually hereditary.

Hemophiliacs have to deal with a whole slew of problems, anything from playing sports, to a visit to the dentist can be a problem.

Many important people in history have been hemophiliacs. Due to the fact that it is passed along family lines, and Queen Victoria was a carrier of it. One of her sons, and a grandson died of it. Three of her daughters were also carriers, and two of them passed the disease on to the lines of the Spanish, German, and Russian royal families. You know them royals and their rampant intermarriages. It's the hemophiliacs in the Russian Royal family that were the most important.

The Tsarina, Alexandra, Victoria's granddaughter, passed hemophilia on to her son Alexei. She and her husband, the Tsar Nicholas, were preoccupied with the health problems of their son. The only one who could help him was Rasputin, who began using the influence he gained to place his lackeys in positions of power. The Tsar's preoccupation with his son's health, and Rasputin's manipulation of the situation for his own good have been sited as causes of the Communist revolution in 1917. I'm going to go one step further to make a broad generalization and say that Communism in Russia happened because of hemophilia.

Sources: www.hemophiliagalaxy.com and www.hemophilia.ca

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