In Ireland, people with haemophilia are fortunate to have access to safe and effective treatment. The quality of life for people with haemophilia has dramatically changed over the past four decades. Children are treated prophylactically and can look forward to a normal quality of life with no interruption in their education and have the prospect of a good career. In contrast, many older people with haemophilia in Ireland live with the effects of having inadequate treatment in the past.
Comprehensive care for haemophilia is a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of haemophilia. This means that patients are taken care of by different medical professionals who address different aspects of their care to enhance the management and outcome of the treatment. In Ireland, patients can access comprehensive care services in their Comprehensive Care Centre. The Comprehensive Care Centre will provide a tailored treatment programme for people with haemophilia or related bleeding disorders. Besides the haematologists, patients receive access to other medical services, as follows:
- physiotherapy and orthopaedic care
- dental care
- paediatric care
- hepatology and infectious diseases
- obstetrics and gynaecology
- psychosocial support
Factor concentrates contain the clotting factor that is missing in a person with haemophilia. The factor is infused intravenously in a patient on a regular basis. This is called replacement therapy. Factor concentrates can be made either from human plasma or synthetically. When made from human plasma, a range of safety measures is taken to make sure that there is no viral contamination of the product. Factor concentrates are administered intravenously.