HoG Handbook

Treatment for Hemophilia



Mother and her son at a doctor visitWhen a person with hemophilia A or hemophilia B has a small cut or scrape, the hurt blood vessel gets smaller and the platelets make a plug.  This is usually enough to stop the bleeding.  You can help by pressing down on the cut with a bandage.  More severe bleeding and bleeding inside the body must be treated as soon as possible.  Bleeding inside the body can fill joints, muscles, and organs and cause damage.

The treatment for a person with hemophilia is to put the clotting factor he is missing into his body.  This is called "factor replacement therapy." Most people with hemophilia just call it "taking factor".  The factor, also known as factor concentrate, comes as a white powder in a glass vial.  When a person with hemophilia needs to take factor, he adds liquid to the powder and mixes until it dissolves.  He then injects the liquid factor into a vein in his arm with a needle.  The clotting factor goes right into the blood where it is needed.  The clotting factor helps a fibrin clot to form and the bleeding stops.  The chapter called Treatment tells more about taking factor.

People with hemophilia usually see a team of experts for their medical care.  This is called comprehensive care.  These experts are part of a hemophilia treatment center (HTC), also called a comprehensive care center.  The Treatment chapter tells all about comprehensive care.  This kind of care has been shown to reduce problems from hemophilia, save money, and extend life.