Treatment Options Choosing a Treatment Plan
Whether your goal is to prevent pain associated with bleeding, stay active, or be there with your family, choosing the treatment plan that is right for you can have an impact on your future.
With the treatment options available today, you can beat bleeds. A good treatment plan also includes weight management and exercise to help prevent most bleeds. Over the last 30 years, researchers and clinicians have discovered that prophylaxis—the infusion of factor on a regular basis—can actually help to prevent most bleeds.1,2
There are a number of options available for managing and reducing bleeds.3 You should work with your HTC to find the treatment plan that works for you.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
While most people with hemophilia want to prevent and reduce bleeds, there are a number of important factors to consider like making time for treatment and facing fears. This section provides tips for people with hemophilia and caregivers to overcome common challenges and to help you stick with your hemophilia treatment plan.
Prophylaxis involves regular infusions; therefore, it’s important to stay on schedule in order to keep factor levels up and reduce the risk of accidental bleeds.
It’s important to treat bleeds as soon as possible. Early treatment of bleeds minimizes the chances of long-term joint damage.
Experts recommend that parents who are caring for children with hemophilia involve them in their treatment plans from a young age so that children can assist parents during busy times.
Infusing regularly can help prevent most bleeds and reduce your annual bleed rate (ABR). Sticking to your prophylactic plan can help you to avoid serious, long-term complications.
Infusing when a bleed happens replaces missing factor, stops the bleed, and eases pain in the process. The earlier factor therapy is infused, the easier it is to control the bleed. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of a bleed and treat right away.
If you are living with hemophilia, read up on the benefits of your hemophilia treatment and the consequences of not following your plan.
Following your treatment plan and exercising regularly can help prevent joint damage and other long-term problems. Ask your hemophilia treatment center for education and support in adhering to the prescribed plan.
Prophylactic treatment plans require frequent infusions, often beginning at an early age. Certain factors may need to be taken into account when choosing a venous access option for prophylactic infusions.
Different types of peripheral and central catheters and devices are used for people with hemophilia. At times, there can be complications with these access routes. For small children it may also be difficult to gain their cooperation during infusions.
Explore alternative options for venous access with your hemophilia treatment center, and be sure to get training on how to properly maintain access lines to minimize complications.
For young children, it may help to distract them during the infusion. Ask your hemophilia treatment center about ways to minimize discomfort. As the child gets older, allow him or her to help in order to transfer ownership of the process over time.
Note: ThereForYou.com does not recommend a particular treatment for specific individuals and recommends that you consult your treatment center or physician before pursuing any course of treatment.
- Complications of hemophilia. In: Amesse C, Bedard L, Blanchette V, et al, eds. All About Hemophilia: A Guide for Families. 2nd ed. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Canadian Hemophilia Society; 2010. http://www.hemophilia.ca/files/Chapter%2008.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Carcao MD, Aledort L. Prophylactic factor replacement in hemophilia. Blood Rev. 2004;18(2):101-113.
- Rivard G-É, Blanchette V, Hilliard P, Mulder K, Zourikian N. Management of bleeds. In: Amesse C, Bedard L, Blanchette V, et al, eds. All About Hemophilia: A Guide for Families. 2nd ed. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Canadian Hemophilia Society; 2010. http://www.hemophilia.ca/files/Chapter%2004.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Hacker MR, Geraghty S, Manco-Johnson M. Barriers to compliance with prophylaxis therapy in haemophilia. Haemophilia. 2001;7(4):392-396.
- Severity of hemophilia. World Federation of Hemophilia Web site. http://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=643. Updated May 2012. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Petrini P. Identifying and overcoming barriers to prophylaxis in the management of haemophilia. Haemophilia. 2007;13(suppl 2):16-22.
- Poon M-C, Jackson S, Brown M, Wilma M. Clotting factor therapy. In: Amesse C, Bedard L, Blanchette V, et al, eds. All About Hemophilia: A Guide for Families. 2nd ed. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Canadian Hemophilia Society; 2010. http://www.hemophilia.ca/files/Chapter%2005.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Gilbert MS. Musculoskeletal complications of hemophilia: the joint. Treatment of Hemophilia. No 6. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: World Federation of Hemophilia; 1997. http://www.wfh.org/2/docs/Publications/Musculoskeletal_Physiotherapy/TOH-6_English_%20Joint.pdf. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Geraghty S, Dunkley T, Harrington C, Lindvall K, Maahs J, Sek J. Practice patterns in haemophilia A therapy—global progress towards optimal care. Haemophilia. 2006;12(1):75-81.