Hemophilia is an inherited disorder. It prevents blood from clotting properly. People with hemophilia bleed longer than usual. This bleeding can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, people with hemophilia can bleed to death.
Because of the way in which hemophilia is inherited, it almost exclusively affects men. Women can get it, but it is very rare.
Clotting is the process in which the blood thickens or congeals. This prevents a cut or other injury from bleeding endlessly.
Clotting factors are substances in the blood that help the blood to clot. People with hemophilia do not have enough clotting factors.
Blood clotting involves two sets of factors. One set works with specialized blood cells called platelets. Platelets play a central role in blood clotting. The other set of factors involves the coagulation system. Coagulation is a coordinated series of chemical reactions that clots and stops the bleeding.
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