Tag Archives: Hemophilia

Royal blood: Queen Victoria and the legacy of hemophilia in European royalty

Carys O’Neill Chicago, IL   Portrait of Queen Victoria with her husband, Albert, and nine children at Osborne circa 1857. From left to right: Alice, Arthur, Prince Albert, Albert Edward, Leopold, Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria, and Helena. Known for restoring the reputation of a monarchy tarnished by the extravagance of her predecessors […]

Traditional circumcision in South Africa

Ntombi Kgosana Phenyo Montsho Pretoria, South Africa   A parked ambulance at Steve Biko Hospital, Pretoria. Image taken by Ntombi Kgosana, January 2019 Traditional circumcision is an ancient and highly secretive practice that serves as a rite of passage and a gateway to manhood in South Africa. It draws hundreds of young men annually, with […]

From eponym to advocate: the story of Stephen Christmas

Peter Kopplin Toronto, Canada   Picture of Stephen Christmas. Courtesy of Robin Christmas The 1952 Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) had an unusual but fitting article. It was titled “Christmas Disease, a condition previously mistaken for haemophilia.”1 The seminal patient was five-year-old Stephen Christmas and the title suggested an unusual lack of […]

Notes from writing a character with a bleeding disorder

Nicole Hebdon Buffalo, New York, United States   “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway. Photograph by Suzy Hazelwood. Taken from pexels.com I have read two books that feature characters with bleeding disorders. The first was a used paperback with a neon green and […]

Alternatives to blood transfusion

Geraldine Miller Liverpool, England   Wiliam Harvey demonstrating the circulation of the blood. iStock. In 1616 William Harvey first discovered how blood circulates around the body. This discovery stimulated research into transfusing blood from one person to another. Early attempts to replace blood began with liquids such as milk, both animal and human, urine, and […]

Blood is NOT the essence of life?

Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1: Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic […]

Painting an honest image

Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Sleepy Baby, 1910, Mary Cassatt, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA I send my colleague home to kiss her children, then go to the nursery to meet my patient. The obstetrician shows me the newborn’s penis; it will not stop bleeding. Together, we wrap it with a […]

Victoria’s curse

Sarah Jane I. Irawa Parañaque City, Philippines   The dining room in an ancient hunting villa obscured in the verdant vastness of the Polish forest erupted in thunderous applause, if not rambunctious laughter. The two youngest grand duchesses just concluded their performance of two short scenes from Moliere’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme. That evening in Spala was […]