On Demand Treatment and Prophylactic treatment

Treatment for severe Factor VIII or Factor IX deficiency can be either on demand treatment or treatment can be given prophylactically to prevent bleeding.

On demand treatment is where factor concentrate is infused when a bleed occurs. Again this is very often carried out in the home setting to allow for early treatment of a bleeding episode.

The optimum treatment for a person with haemophilia is prophylactic therapy. This is where factor concentrate is infused on a regular basis to prevent bleeding from actually occurring. For Factor VIII deficiency prophylactic therapy requires an infusion of Factor VIII concentrate three times per week. For Factor IX deficiency prophylactic therapy requires an infusion of Factor IX concentrate twice a week. The aim of prophylactic therapy is to maintain the trof (lower) level of factor in the blood at greater than one percent at all times. This is a sufficient level of factor to prevent most, if not all spontaneous bleeding.

Prophylactic treatment is recognised as the optimum therapy for haemophilia, as it prevents the vast majority of joint and muscle damage and allows the child or person with haemophilia to lead a normal quality of life.