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Hereditary bleeding disorder caused by deficiency of a coagulation factor. Lack of factor VIII causes classic hemophilia; other types are caused by deficiency of factor IX or XI. The first two are transmitted by sex-linked heredity; the third has dominant inheritance and occurs in females as well as males. Spontaneous bleeding may occur. Even trivial injury can cause life-threatening blood loss. Drugs can be given to stop bleeding. Heavy blood loss requires blood transfusions.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hemophilia, visit Britannica.com.