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Understanding Hemophilia -- Diagnosis and Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Hemophilia? continued...

Complications from treatment for hemophilia include:

  • Acquiring a blood-borne disease
  • Changes to the immune system that make the treatment less effective

Acquiring a blood-borne disease: In the past, people receiving clotting factor from donated blood ran the risk of contracting a blood-borne disease. In fact, in the late 1970s and 1980s many people with hemophilia acquired viruses such as HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and hepatitis. Now, potential blood donors are carefully screened and all donated blood is tested for viruses. Donated blood is also processed to inactivate any unrecognized viruses. The chance of contracting any disease through treatment is extremely low. Still, if you have hemophilia it is important for you to receive immunizations for hepatitis A and B to prevent you from becoming infected with these viruses.

Changes to the immune system: Your immune system may begin to recognize the administered clotting factor as foreign and then destroy it. This makes your treatment ineffective. Your doctor will want to monitor your (or your child's) blood for such a reaction.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 28, 2014

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