We recently interviewed Doctor Deborah Gordish about hemophilia and are posting her exact responses to our interview questions, along with pictures, below.
1. Have you ever had a patient with hemophilia, and if not, do you know of a doctor that has?
I have about 15 patients with hemophilia. Most have hemophilia A. I typically manage the milder cases, but have all established with a hematologist in Columbus.
2. How are surgeries done when a patient has severe hemophilia?
Mild cuts and bruises are treated with a topical nasal spray but before surgery a transfusion of the abnormal blood clothing proteins is given.
This diagram shows the possible outcomes of a mother who is a carrier of hemophilia.
3. What are some programs here in Ohio that can help families cope with the disease?
Education and support are found online and at the National Hemophilia Society, which has a chapter in Columbus. The James Cancer Hospital also has patient education.
4. How are anemia and hemophilia different?
Anemia is when one's red blood cells are low; hemophilia is where a protein in the blood is abnormal and does not allow blood to clot correctly, leading to abnormal bleeding.
A baby affected with hemophilia.
5. Should hemophiliacs eat a certain diet?
There are no restrictions on diet but restrictions on certain dietary supplements and over the counter medications (aspirin and ibuprofen) that decrease clotting mechanisms in the body.
6. Is a special doctor called in to perform the blood tests?
I would typically order the blood tests to diagnose hemophilia and then consult with a hematologist for treatment and management.
7. Are there any charities you know of to help hemophiliacs?
Columbus has a chapter of The National Hemophilia Society. It does not provide charity or care to the patients but support in education and help in finding care. Most hospital systems have charity care programs that patients can apply for if they cannot afford care and then see the doctors for necessary care.
A young boy taking medicine for hemophilia.
Below are links to educational, personal, and motivational help services: