Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder that occurs when a person lacks enough blood clotting factor to stop bleeding. There are several types of hemophilia and bleeding disorders. Hemophilia type is determined by which clotting factor is missing. Individuals with hemophilia A have a clotting factor 8 deficiency (also known as factor VIII or FVIII ), and those with hemophilia B have a clotting factor 9 deficiency (also known as factor IX or FIX).
Treatments for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders are generally on demand (addressing a current symptom) or prophylactic (used to prevent symptoms from occurring or worsening). The most effective treatment for stopping and preventing bleeding episodes is clotting factor replacement therapy. This involves intravenous blood infusion of the clotting factor that is missing from the patient’s blood. Regular clotting factor infusions can prevent bleeding episodes and the damage caused by them.
Managing Hemophilia and Other Bleeding Disorders
Advances in drug therapies, home-based treatment administration, and proactive disease management enable patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders to lead long and full lives.
Following hemophilia treatment guidelines provided by specialists is one important aspect of managing hemophilia. Treatment guidelines include regular infusions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, routine dental care, and knowing the signs of bleeding episodes to stop them.
Partnering with the right team is another important aspect of successfully managing hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. At NCHS, our mission is to help hemophilia and bleeding disorder patients receive the treatment and support they need. We assist patients and their families with finding treatment options, navigating health insurance matters, obtaining clotting factor for home infusions, and coordinating care across providers.
Hemophilia Treatment Centers
Hemophilia is a chronic disease with symptoms that often require care from multiple specialists. Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) exist throughout the country to help meet the needs of patients who have moderate to severe hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. These treatment centers bring together experienced doctors, nurses, social workers and other healthcare staff to offer comprehensive care.
Hemophilia Home Infusion
Home infusion treatment options, particularly self-infusion, offer patients the convenience of managing hemophilia disease symptoms themselves. Self-infusion enables hemophilia patients to treat bleeds faster and save time spent on doctor’s appointments and emergency care. Self-infusion usually costs less than treatment received in a medical setting. Some patients appreciate being able to receive treatment in the comfort of their own home; others enjoy the feeling of independence that comes from being able to self-infuse wherever they may be, whether at home or traveling.
Hemophilia and Other Bleeding Disorders Drug Treatments
Patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders have several options for treating existing symptoms and preventing symptoms from appearing or worsening. For spontaneous bleeding episodes, the patient’s missing factor is replaced through infusion. Factor infusions are also used to maintain high enough levels of factor to prevent future bleeding episodes. Other drug therapies are designed to stimulate factor production, treat minor bleeds topically, and prevent diseases transmitted through blood infusions.