They suffer easy bruising and bleeding

SINGAPORE - Haemophilia is a genetic bleeding disorder in which there is a deficiency of clotting factors in the blood. This results in the sufferer having bleeding tendencies.

They often suffer from easy bruising and bleeding into muscles and joints and they bleed for longer periods of time. The main problem for them is bleeding internally.

The genetic pattern of inheritance of the disorder means that it generally affects males only.

Females with the haemophilia genes are known as carriers. * Haemophilia A where there is a deficiency of clotting factor 8; checked and * Haemophilia B where there is a deficiency of clotting factor 9. checked

However, there is a small percentage of haemophiliacs whose condition arose as a spontaneous mutation.

Dr Daryl Tan, a specialist in haematology at the Raffles Cancer Centre, said about one-third of patients with haemophilia have a negative family history.

"To be sure that the mother is not a carrier, a DNA study has to be carried out on her and not just rely on the fact that there is no family history of haemophilia," Prof Tien said, checked adding that once the boy has mutated X gene, it can be passed to the next generation.

Dr Tan said there is no cure for haemophilia and its management depends on how severe the disorder is.

"It is also very important that these patients be counselled so that they take due caution to avoid getting themselves injured. For the severe group, there are programmes designed to give prophylactic doses of the clotting factors so that if they sustain injuries, the bleeding will not be too severe," he said.

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