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Social Security Disability and Hemophilia

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Nov 07, 2013 | 0 Comments

Social Security Disability and Hemophilia

Blood may be thicker than water, but there are individuals whose blood flows too readily and does not properly thicken and clot. A problem with blood clotting is called hemophilia. There are different types of hemophilia and many people with the disease can lead long lives with proper treatment and self-care. But where treatment does not work, this can lead to the need for Social Security Disability. Causes Hemophilia is caused by a genetic defect where the body lacks one of the clotting factors. Due to the low clotting factor, the blood does not clot well. There are three main types of hemophilia (A, B, or C) depending on which clotting factor is deficient. With types A and B, these affect mostly boys and are transmitted through the mother's genes. Type C can affect both boys and girls and can be passed along by either parent. Symptoms and Diagnosis Hemophilia symptoms are dictated by how severe the condition is in the individual. For individuals with very low clotting factors, they may experience spontaneous bleeding. Signs of this include:

  • Large and deep bruises
  • Joint pain and swelling caused by internal bleeding
  • Unexplained and excessive bleeding or bruising
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Prolonged bleeding from cuts or injuries or after surgery or tooth extraction
  • Nosebleeds without a known cause
  • Tightness in the joints
  • In infants, unexplained irritability
  • Unusual bleeding after immunizations

Information from the Mayo Clinic With individuals that have some clotting factors, hemophilia may only appear after a trauma or surgery. Signs of this include:

  • Sudden pain, swelling, and warmth of large joints, such as knees, elbows, hips and shoulders, and of the muscles of your arms and legs
  • Excessive bleeding from an injury
  • Painful, lasting headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Neck pain
  • Double vision

Information from the Mayo Clinic If hemophilia is suspected, a doctor can analyze a blood sample to determine the extent of the clotting factor deficiency. Treatment The severity of the clotting factor determines specific treatments. For minor cuts, pressure and ice packs can help slow bleeding and allow for clotting. Those with mild hemophilia, it may be treated with the hormone desmopressin by either injection or nasal inhalation. For moderate to severe cases, individuals may receive “infusions of clotting factor derived from donated human blood or from genetically engineered products called recombinant clotting factors.” These infusions can be done only when necessary to stop bleeding episodes or can be done as a preventative approach. “Another class of drugs called antifibrinolytics is sometimes prescribed along with clotting factor replacement therapy. These medications help prevent clots from breaking down.” Doctors also suggest regular exercise, avoiding contact sports, using acetaminophen instead of aspirin or ibuprofen, and avoiding blood-thinning medications. Good dental hygiene is also suggested to prevent gum bleeding as well as the need to extract a tooth. Social Security Disability The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider the use of desmopressin, antifibrinolytics, or clotting factor therapy infusions to automatically indicate the severity of an individual's hemophilia. The SSA requires an individual to have “spontaneous hemorrhaging requiring transfusions at least three times during the 5 months before being adjudicated” disabled. If you are considering applying for disability benefits, contact our experienced attorney to assist you.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...

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