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What is factor VIII deficiency?

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Factor VIII deficiency, also called hemophilia A or classic hemophilia, is a genetic disorder resulting from a defective or missing clotting protein called factor VIII, explains the National Hemophilia Foundation. Sometimes the genes for factor VIII deficiency are passed from parent to child, and other times factor VIII deficiency results from a genetic mutation. Common symptoms of factor VIII deficiency include prolonged, excessive or frequent bleeding.

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Doctors classify factor VIII deficiency as mild, moderate or severe, depending on symptoms and the amount of factor VIII present in the blood, according to the National Hemophilia Foundation. Individuals with mild factor VIII deficiency have 6 to 49 percent of factor VIII in their blood and usually only experience severe bleeding after a serious injury or surgery. With moderate factor VIII deficiency, individuals have 1 to 5 percent of factor VIII in the blood and sometimes experience bleeding without an apparent cause. People with severe factor VIII deficiency have less than 1 percent of factor VIII in their blood, and they may experience frequent spontaneous bleeding into their joints or muscles.

The main treatment for factor VIII deficiency is intravenous administration of clotting factor, states the National Hemophilia Foundation. Doctors determine the frequency of treatment based on the severity of the patient's hemophilia.

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