Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

World Hemophilia Day – April 17, 2023

World Hemophilia Day is commemorated every year on April 17. The day, devoted to those who have hemophilia, is marked to raise awareness and help them have a better future. Hemophilia is a rare condition in which blood cannot clot properly because it lacks adequate blood-clotting proteins. World Hemophilia Day is currently celebrated globally to improve diagnosis and access to specialized treatment. The goal of World Hemophilia Day is to bring individuals with bleeding disorders from all over the world together.

History of World Hemophilia Day

Hemophilia was identified in the 10th century when doctors began to take an interest in persons, particularly men, who were bleeding profusely after just minor injuries. It was known as Abulcasis at the time. Unfortunately, a thorough investigation into the illness was not possible due to the limitations of technology at the time. Numerous famous historical figures, particularly members of European royal families, are thought to have had hemophilia. They were treated with aspirin, which thinned the hemophiliac’s blood even more, exacerbating the symptoms.

In 1803, Dr. John Conrad Otto from Philadelphia started to investigate persons he dubbed “bleeders” more thoroughly, discovering it to be a genetic condition handed down from healthy mothers to boys. Erik von Willebrand, a Finnish physician, wrote a paper in 1926 describing ‘pseudohemophilia,’ a bleeding illness that affects both men and women equally. The condition was eventually named Von Willebrand Disease after him. Inga Marie Nilsson and colleagues at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden discovered that the disease was caused by low or insufficient levels of Von Willebrand factor in 1957. Hemophilia was formally classified into two categories in 1937: A and B.

Though no treatment for hemophilia has been discovered yet, one can manage the disease by regularly injecting clotting factors to minimize spontaneous bleeding episodes. The World Federation of Hemophilia established World Hemophilia Day in 1989, and April 17 was selected to commemorate the birthday of the organization’s founder, Frank Schnabel. The goal of the day is to promote awareness of the condition and other bleeding diseases and generate funds for people who cannot afford treatment.

World Hemophilia Day timeline

1803
Dr. John Conrad Investigates “Bleeders”

Dr. John Conrad Otto, from Philadelphia, starts to investigate persons he refers to as "bleeders" more thoroughly, discovering it to be a genetic condition handed down from healthy mothers to boys.

1926
Von Willebrand Writes a Paper on Hemophilia

Dr. Erik von Willebrand, a Finnish physician, writes a paper describing ‘pseudohemophilia,’ a bleeding illness that equally affects men and women.

1937
Hemophilia Classified Into Two Categories

In his laboratory, Dr. Alfredo Pavlovsky of Argentina identifies two forms of hemophilia — A and B.

1989
W.F.H. Establishes World Hemophilia Day

The World Federation of Hemophilia establishes World Hemophilia Day, and April 17 is selected to commemorate the birthday of the organization's founder, Frank Schnabel.

World Hemophilia Day FAQs

How severe is a bleeding disorder?

Minor cuts are typically not a big deal. If you have severe hemophilia, the greatest worry is internal bleeding, particularly in your knees, ankles, and elbows. Internal bleeding may harm your organs and tissues and be fatal.

Is hemophilia A curable?

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding illness for which there is presently no treatment.

Can hemophiliacs donate blood?

Most blood collection centers refuse donors with hemophilia due to the danger of bleeding. Other facilities refuse anybody who has previously received factor concentrate due to the risk of virus infection. Perhaps most essential, you should not give blood because you need to safeguard your veins.

How to Observe World Hemophilia Day

  1. Share your story

    Share your story about how hereditary bleeding diseases have impacted you or someone you know on social media. Use the hashtag #WorldHemophiliaDay, and read other people's accounts.

  2. Donate to hemophilia research

    You may also commemorate this day by visiting https://wfh.org/. You can contribute money to research this ailment.

  3. Turn on a red light

    To celebrate all persons with a bleeding disorder and promote awareness for World Hemophilia Day, turn on a red light in your house, business, or even a local landmark. This is a way to raise awareness.

5 Interesting Facts About Hemophilia

  1. It's genetic

    Hemophilia is a genetic condition inherited from mother to child.

  2. Hemophilia C is a milder form

    Hemophilia C is considered less dangerous than hemophilia A and hemophilia B, and people with hemophilia C don't need clotting factor I.V. regularly.

  3. Women infrequently have hemophilia

    Because of how the illness is passed down genetically, it is highly unusual for women to be born with it, and mostly affects men.

  4. Blood tests diagnose it

    Clotting factor tests, also known as factor assays, are necessary to determine a bleeding disease and the severity of hemophilia.

  5. The most frequent kind is hemophilia A

    Hemophilia A is the most prevalent type of condition affecting one in every 5,000 boys, hemophilia B affects one in every 25,000 boys, and hemophilia C affects one in every 100,000 boys.

Why World Hemophilia Day is Important

  1. It helps in creating awareness

    Lack of knowledge about this uncommon but severe ailment is causing delayed diagnosis. Lack of awareness can increase the death toll.

  2. It raises money for research

    World Hemophilia Day helps raise funds that go into researching this condition. As a result, we can learn how to manage it better.

  3. It helps show support to people affected

    World Hemophilia Day makes it possible for people living with the condition to connect. It also enables the rest of the world to show support.

World Hemophilia Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 17Monday
2024April 17Wednesday
2025April 17Thursday
2026April 17Friday
2027April 17Saturday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.