While there's no cure for hemophilia, most people with the disease can lead fairly normal lives.
Treatment for bleeding episodes
Therapies to stop bleeding depend on the type of hemophilia:
- Mild hemophilia A. Slow injection of the hormone desmopressin (DDAVP) into a vein can stimulate a release of more clotting factor to stop bleeding. Occasionally, DDAVP is given as a nasal medication.
- Moderate to severe hemophilia A or hemophilia B. Bleeding may stop only after an infusion of recombinant clotting factor or clotting factor derived from donated human blood. Repeated infusions may be needed if internal bleeding is severe.
- Hemophilia C. Clotting factor XI, the factor missing in this type of hemophilia, is available only in Europe. In the United States, plasma infusions are needed to stop bleeding episodes.
Your doctor may recommend:
Sept. 26, 2014
- Regular infusions of DDAVP or clotting factor. The infusions can help prevent bleeding. This approach may reduce time spent in the hospital and limit side effects such as damage to joints. Your doctor can show you how to perform the infusions.
- Clot-preserving medications (antifibrinolytics). These medications help prevent clots from breaking down.
- Fibrin sealants. These medications can be applied directly to wound sites to promote clotting and healing. Fibrin sealants are especially useful in dental therapy.
- Physical therapy. It can ease signs and symptoms if internal bleeding has damaged your joints. If internal bleeding has caused severe damage, you may need surgery.
- First aid for minor cuts. Using pressure and a bandage will generally take care of the bleeding. For small areas of bleeding beneath the skin, use an ice pack. Ice pops can be used to slow down minor bleeding in the mouth.
- Vaccinations. Although blood products are screened, it's still possible for people who rely on them to contract diseases. If you have hemophilia, consider receiving immunization against hepatitis A and B.
- Hoots WK, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of hemophilia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. What tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis or expedite the evaluation of hemophilia? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Hoots WK, et al. Treatment of hemophilia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Berntorp E, et al. Modern haemophilia care. The Lancet. 2012;379:1447.
- Living with hemophilia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hemophilia/livingwith.html Accessed May 13, 2014.
- Lim MY, et al. Outcomes of management of acute coronary syndrome in patients with congenital bleeding disorders: A single center experience and review of the literature. Thrombosis Research. 2012;130:316.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Hemophilia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Cook, AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 17, 2014.
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