“April 17 is World Hemophilia Day. Hemophilia is a rare hereditary bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot properly, causing bleeding internally or outside the body. It is usually noticed during infancy or childhood, though it can develop in later life. About one in 10,000 people are born with hemophilia. 

“Those living with hemophilia may experience pain and swelling, frequent nosebleeds, blood in the urine and excessive bruising or prolonged bleeding after a cut, fall, during surgery or after dental work. So, preventing injuries around the home, school or workplace is critical. 

“In some cases, bleeding into joints, muscles or other body parts is spontaneous and results in developmental and permanent mobility issues.

“There have been significant advancements in treatments for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, though many worldwide still struggle to access treatment, and those living with hemophilia often die young. 

“If treated quickly, bleeding causes less damage to the organs, muscles and joints. While treatments exist to help prevent bleeding, research continues in other emerging therapies, including gene therapy, which may dramatically change the lives of those living with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. 

“Many of the treatment products for hemophilia are made from human blood. This World Hemophilia Day, please consider becoming a regular blood and plasma donor. Blood products are always in need. You can find a donation centre near you by visiting Canadian Blood Services or calling 1-888-2-Donate (1-888-236-6283).”