Hemophilia

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A young boy peeks around the side of a tree.August 2009

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), our nation’s special education law, defines 14 categories of disability under which a child may be found eligible for special education and related services. One of those categories is “Other Health Impairment,” or OHI, for short. Within OHI’s definition, numerous disabilities and medical conditions are explicitly named. Hemophilia is one such.

This short resource page accompanies NICHCY’s fact sheet on Other Health Impairment and provides a brief overview of hemophilia and connections to sources of additional information.

A Brief Look at Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare and inherited disorder in which your blood doesn’t clot properly. As a result, people with hemophilia may bleed after an injury for a longer time than those without the disorder. Bleeding can also be internal, especially in the knees, ankles, and elbows.

The disorder occurs when a person is born without the protein (or with too little of it) that causes blood to clot. With very few exceptions, this disorder usually occurs only in males. However, it’s a myth that persons with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia bleed to death from even minor injuries. In truth, the condition ranges mild to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Excessive bruising
  • Easy bleeding
  • Nose bleeds
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding

Each year, about 400 children are born with hemophilia. It’s estimated that approximately 18,000 people in the U.S. have hemophilia.

Resources of More Information on Hemophilia

What is hemophilia? (a fact sheet)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hemophilia/

National Hemophilia Foundation
(800) 42-HANDI (the NHF’s Information Resource Center)
http://www.hemophilia.org

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NOTICE: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.