Yasmina Kattou edited by Wassila Belhacine
Hemophilia is a disease that causes blood clotting difficulties in people who suffer from it. It is a difficult disease to detect, it takes an average of 6 years before being diagnosed. The consequences can be significant such as severe bleeding in case of injury.
April 17 is World Hemophilia Day. This blood disease causes longer bleeding. About 8,000 people in France suffer from haemophilia. The consequences can be major, with severe bleeding in case of injury and sometimes spontaneous bleeding, especially in the joints. Despite these symptoms, which can be serious for sufferers, it takes an average of 6 years to be diagnosed.
Thus, patients live with hemophilia without knowing it, for lack of diagnosis. This is the case of Yannick who, despite warning signs from a very young age, was only diagnosed at the age of 46.
“The fact that I had heavy periods, that when they extracted a tooth, I was bleeding, but hey, that’s normal. And the more you bleed, the more there is an iron deficiency, with a degraded daily life. With the arrival of the menopause, large hemorrhages came back and there we made a more thorough diagnosis.
A delay in diagnosis due to symptoms that do not seem alarming at first sight, explains Professor Yohann Repessé. He is responsible for the hemophilia treatment center at the Caen University Hospital: “A diagnosis of hemophilia is based on biological assays. What is complicated is that there can be symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding from the mouth, bruising easily which is non-specific for the disease and which is found in the general population on a frequent basis.”
Patients do not recover from hemophilia. They are prescribed a tablet or infusion treatment to restore normal blood clotting.