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PIA Press Release
2006/09/20

Rich, poor equally at risk with hemophilia

Davao City (20 September) -- A curse, a royal disease. Wrong notions still pervade modern-technology driven society, but medical experts say hemophilia biologically occurs holding neither the father or the mother at fault. The poor and the rich families are equally at risk with it.

Dr. Jeannie Bernardo-Ong, Davao coordinator of the World Federation of Hemophilia in a press conference said most of the clinically tested hemophilia patients in Davao "are not rich."

"Nasa DMC (Davao Medical Center) lang sila nagpaadmit," she said referring to cheap hospitalization DMC is charging to patients.

Dr. Ong explained that hemophilia got the impression as a disease of blue-bloodied families because history bared that a royal family whose family members suffered from such disease first got into thorough medical examinations about the disease. It was from such medical probe that findings about the disease first came out.

Hemophilia is an inherited disorder caused by a defect in the genes that determine how the body makes blood clotting factors VIII and IX. These genes are located on the x chromosomes which determine whether a baby is a boy or a girl.

Very rarely, a girl is born with hemophilia. This can happen if her father has hemophilia and her mother is a carrier. Some males with the disorder are born to mothers who are not carriers. In these cases, a random change (mutation) occurs in the genes as it is passed to the child.

Hemophilia is characterized by a bleeding disorder in which the blood does not occur normally. Persons with hemophilia may bleed for a longer time than others after an injury or accident. They may also bleed internally, especially in the joints.

Handling Hemophilia cases gets on top of list of concerns that the 1st Scientific Symposia on Hematology will tackle on September 23 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Renie M. Maguinsay, president of the Association of Hematologists in Mindanao said the symposia is critical to all medical practitioners to avoid problems in handling bleeding and blood transfusion.

Among the topics due for discussion during the event are bleeding surgical patients, bleeding in medical conditions, bleeding in women, overview and diagnosing thrombosis and its clinical presentation and treatment, when dengue bleeds, and safety and legal issues in blood transfusion.

Along with the event is the opening of the treatment center for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders at the Brokenshire Hospital on September 22. (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]

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