Hemophilia and von Willebrand's disease: 1. Diagnosis, comprehensive care and assessment. Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada.
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OBJECTIVE: To present current strategies for the assessment and comprehensive care of patients with hemophilia and von Willebrand's disease. OPTIONS: Hospital care, home care, single-provider care and multidisciplinary care. OUTCOMES: Morbidity and quality of life associated with bleeding and treatment. EVIDENCE: Relevant clinical studies and reports published from 1974 to 1994 were examined. A search was conducted of own reprint files, MEDLINE, citations in the articles reviewed and references provided by colleagues. In the MEDLINE search the following terms were used singly or in combination: "hemophilia," "von Willebrand's disease," "Factor VIII," "Factor IX," "von Willebrand factor," "diagnosis," "management," "home care," "comprehensive care," "inhibitor," "AIDS," "hepatitis," "life expectancy," "complications," "practice guidelines," "consensus statement" and "controlled trial." The in-depth review included only articles written in English from North America and Europe that were relevant to human disease and to a predetermined outline. The availability of treatment products in Canada was also considered. VALUES: Minimizing morbidity and maximizing functional status and quality of life were given a high value. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: The optimal use of treatment procedures and home care offers patients the advantages of minimized disability, improved survival and financial benefit. It is also cost effective. Potential harm, including the risk of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection, has now been minimized through viral inactivation of plasma-derived coagulation-factor concentrates and through the use of recombinant clotting factor concentrates and other non-plasma-derived hemostatic agents. RECOMMENDATIONS: Patients with hemophilia and severe von Willebrand's disease should be followed in comprehensive care centres that offer expertise in the diagnosis, assessment and management of bleeding and complications and that can meet the educational and counselling needs of patients, family members and health care providers. Eligible patients should be enrolled in a home self-infusion program. Patients with hemophilia and von Willebrand's disease should wear or carry Medic Alert identification. They should be vaccinated against hepatitis B and attend for routine follow-up examinations. Laboratory testing should be carried out as required, and dental and surgical care should be undertaken in consultation with a hematologist. VALIDATION: These recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada (AHCDC) and the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. No similar consensus statements or practice guidelines are available for comparison. SPONSORS: These recommendations were developed at the request of the Canadian Blood Agency, which funds the provision of all coagulation-factor concentrates for people with congenital bleeding disorders, and were developed and endorsed by the AHCDC and the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.
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