Health A-Z

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Preventive treatment

Clotting factor concentrates help to replace the missing clotting factor in the blood. This can help to decrease how often and how severely you bleed. Clotting factor concentrates are given by injection into a vein.

In the past, people would receive concentrates of clotting factors that had been collected from blood donors. Today, man-made Factor VIII and Factor IX (called recombinant Factor VIII and recombinant Factor IX) are created in vast quantities.

Recombinant hemophilia factors are made in the test tube. They are not extracted from human blood products. So, the risk of contracting transfusion associated virus diseases (such as HIV and hepatitis viruses) is greatly diminished.

Treatment for excessive bleeding

Sometimes excessive bleeding occurs despite the use of recombinant clotting factors. Hospital treatment is necessary when bleeding occurs. The situation is an emergency when it involves the brain, neck, the central nervous system or a vital organ.

Hemophiliacs may require blood transfusions to treat excessive blood loss.

All surgical or invasive procedures should be done in a hospital to properly handle bleeding. Consult your doctor before having dental work.

Some patients develop blockers to the Factors, making them less effective. If this happens, specialized treatments may be required to enable the factors to work again.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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