HEMOPHILIA AND THE CORONAVIRUS: THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF HEMOPHILIA

How to deal with the coronavirus pandemic if you have hemophilia?

These are the recommendations of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).

  • For persons with hemophilia and currently being treated with factor VIII, or other replacement therapy, there is no reason to change the recommended treatment regimen because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, nor to fear a shortage of treatment supplies at present. If treatment is provided at your home, it is recommended that you do not order more than you reasonably need for replacement therapy. However, the WFH guidelines recommend keeping a few extra doses in stock for home use. In addition, for patients treated with factor VIII or other plasma-derived coagulation factors, the Federation assures that the viral inactivation and elimination procedures employed are sufficient to destroy viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, a change in treatment is not recommended. Blood and plasma donation continues to be a safe process, and the need for plasma donations is growing.
  • You should discuss follow-up and monitoring arrangements with your referral center and hematologist. Remote follow-up visits are strongly encouraged unless it is necessary to administer an investigational product and face-to-face monitoring is essential to prevent particular side effects.
  • As regards specific measures to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2, all measures taken by the general population should be applied even more actively by people with hemophilia, especially those with comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, HIV, old age) or taking steroids or other potent immunosuppressants. To this end, it is important to avoid close contact with other people, including low-risk individuals and children. That’s why it is also recommended that visits to hospitals or offices be kept to a minimum unless necessary. It is important to remember that all specific hygiene measures, such as regularly washing your hands with soap, not touching your face, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and keeping a distance of at least 2 meters from other people are essential to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

The WFH has also issued specific measures for healthcare providers when hospitalizing patients with bleeding disorders with COVID-19 infection and the prophylactic therapy to be followed.

 

References

WFH – https://news.wfh.org/covid-19-coronavirus-disease-2019-pandemic-caused-by-sars-cov-2-practical-recommendations-for-hemophilia-patients/

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Wikiphilia

Learn more about the meaning of the words you read on this page and learn about the entire glossary on hemophilia.

Active involvement of the patient in the management of his/her health programme.

A protein belonging to the clotting factor category, a group of enzymes involved in the blood-clotting process.

It is encoded by a gene on the long arm of the X chromosome.

Factor VIII is also known as anti-haemophilic factor (AHF).

A ereditary genetic illness, characterised by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII, that exposes the individual to a greater risk of both internal and external bleeds.

Haemophilia A is more common in males, whereas females tend to be healthy carriers of the condition.

The typical symptoms of the condition include haemarthroses (joint bleeds) and haematomas (muscle bleeds).

Condition that occurs when factor VIII activity is between 1% and 5%.

Condition that occurs when factor VIII activity is between 1% and 5%.

The straw-yellow liquid component of the blood.

It is 90% water, and contains dissolved mineral salts and a number of proteins of various types, including factor VIII.

Plasma is used as the starting material for the production of plasma-derived products.

A substance extracted from plasma, and subjected to a thorough process of filtration, purification, viral inactivation and control, in order to confirm its purity, and the absence of contaminants.

Prophylactic treatment containing replacement factor VIII that is commenced after the onset of the first haemarthrosis, before the appearance of documented joint disease, and in any case before the age of 3 years.

Treatment regimen usually used in patients with severe haemophilia A.

It involves the constant, regular administration of the lacking factor VIII, in order to prevent bleeds.

Therapy for the treatment of haemophilia A, consisting in the intravenous administration of the lacking factor VIII, thereby restoring a correct blood-clotting process and preventing bleeds.

Replacement therapy can be administered in accordance with two treatment regimens: as on-demand or prophylactic therapy.

Prophylactic treatment containing replacement factor VIII that is commenced after the onset of at least two haemarthroses, but before the appearance of documented joint disease.

Trattamento profilattico a base di fattore VIII sostitutivo iniziato in seguito alla comparsa di patologie articolari documentate.