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Home Care

Learning to successfully manage treatment of a bleeding disorder in the home environment is the goal for most patients and their families. Since home therapy for bleeding disorders usually means learning to administer a medication intravenously, this is an important step for many families. The advantages of learning home therapy often outweigh a family’s concerns about administering a medication. Families choose home therapy for many reasons:

Home infusion may stop bleeds sooner with less damage to the joint or tissue and less pain.

The time interval between recognizing that a bleed has occurred and treating the bleed may be a matter of minutes for the patient on home therapy. Coming to the emergency room or to the bleeding disorders clinic may add hours to this time interval. The sooner a bleed is stopped or prevented, the less pain and joint damage will happen.

Home therapy can enable the person with a bleeding disorder to lead a more “normal life.”

Treatment for a bleeding disorder can be planned as a part of a patient or family’s daily routine. Families generally feel as though they have more control over their condition and are less dependent upon medical services and schedules.

The cost of care, in general, dramatically decreases for the patient on home therapy.

The expense of home therapy is generally just the cost of medication and ancillary supplies (needles, syringes etc). Treatment of bleeds in the clinic or medical facility also incurs costs for physician and nursing time, facility fees and any additional lab work or diagnostic test completed. This is a cost saving to the patient and to the third-party payer.

Patients and families on home therapy always have the support of their medical team in assessing and treating bleeds.

Part of the training in home therapy is learning how to assess bleeds and when to call the treatment team. Sometimes bleeds are too serious to be treated at home. Other times, bleeds may not respond to treatment as expected. Occasionally, families simply have difficulty performing the venipuncture needed for infusions. Home therapy requires close collaboration between the team and the family.

Traveling is easier on home therapy.

Treating the patient or family member away from home without having to take him or her to the nearest center gives the family freedom. Having knowledge of the nearest center but the ability to manage minor bleeds while traveling gives peace of mind to the traveler.

Companies providing home therapy supplies can be another resource for families.

Many specialized pharmacies provide home therapy supplies that are delivered directly to the family’s home. Additionally they provide educational materials and support.

Deciding when to learn home therapy is a very individualized decision. Some parents are comfortable with learning new medical skills and want to start home infusing as soon as possible. Some children are more willing and interested than others in either learning to self-infuse or in having a parent or caregiver infuse them. Others need more time and support before they feel comfortable and competent in home therapy. All families need to have adequate education to be able to assess and understand how to dose and treat before considering home therapy.

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VCU Health System | Central Virginia Center for Coagulation Disorders
P.O. Box 980461 | Richmond, VA | 23298-0461
phone: (804) 827-3306 | toll free: (866) 288-2516 | fax: (804) 692-0291

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last updated: 02/17/2014
Central Virginia Center for Coagulation Disorders