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Health & Fitness

Special circumcision knife goes to the rescue of bleeding disorder sufferers

Circumcision at a hospital. Patients with bleeding disorder can now benefit from the diathermic knife procedure. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH
Circumcision at a hospital. Patients with bleeding disorder can now benefit from the diathermic knife procedure. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH 

Male patients with bleeding disorder can now be circumcised using a special knife that prevents excessive blood loss. The diathermic knife procedure is available at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Bleeding disorder, known as haemophilia, is a medical condition in which one’s blood fails to clot leading to severe bleeding after injury.

“As a facility in Kenya offering treatment services for haemophilia and other bleeding disorders, it became paramount that a safe rite of passage through surgical circumcision was initiated and co-ordinated by clinicians,” said Dr Deepa Kudalkar, the author of a study on the condition released last week.

The study, titled Safe Circumcision of Haemophilia, says the diathermic knife may reduce bleeding in haemophiliacs down to 50 per cent. The procedure is an electro-surgery that applies high-frequency (radio frequency) with electric current to biological tissue as a means to cut and coagulate with minimal blood loss.

The study enrolled 26 patients with the bleeding problem. Out of the number, 20 benefited from the procedure. “This led to an influx of patients seeking the service at the hospital,” says Dr Kudalkar. The average age of the patients was 13 years.

The hospital stay period was three to seven days except for one 21-year-old boy who stayed for three weeks after developing inhibitors.

“More patients with bleeding disorder have enrolled for the service and will benefit in future programmes,” said Dr Kudalkar.

The programme realised successful operations that have so far been cost effective.

The study recommended that a protocol evaluating other circumcision procedures be developed and evaluated for better management of haemophiliac patients.

Some bleeding disorders are inherited and passed on in families. Others are acquired through Vitamin K deficiency, severe liver disease and bone marrow disorders.

The symptoms are bleeding into joints and muscles, heavy and prolonged bleeding after injury, heavy menstrual bleeding, excessive nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding after circumcision and dental procedures, as well as heavy gum bleeding.

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