Both preventive and on-demand treatment can be administered at home. Home treatment is the ideal method of treatment from a medical viewpoint as a minimum amount of time is lost between the recognition of a bleed and treatment. This has many advantages.
It reduces the disruption caused by a bleeding episode to the person with haemophilia and his family and the patient feels more able to control his condition. The benefits of self-infusion at home not only include increased independence and the bonus of not having to travel to the hospital at all hours for treatment, but school and work attendance is more regular. If bleeds are treated promptly, the period of incapacity caused by each episode can be reduced.
In adults and teenagers, home treatment is usually carried out by the affected person. From a young age, children will be taught how to self-infuse, alternatively, a device called a Port-a-Cath can be used to facilitate venous access.
It is recommended that all young adults and teenagers with severe factor deficiencies should be commenced on a programme of factor concentrate prophylaxis before their second birthday or earlier if they have experienced any joint bleeds. Prophylaxis involves small regular (2-3 per week) infusions of factor concentrate to prevent spontaneous bleeding and to minimise traumatic bleeding. This treatment regime, although time-consuming and sometimes difficult to learn, will prevent joint damage and lead to an improved quality of life.