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Haemophilia. 2012 Jul;18(4):554-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2516.2012.02762.x. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Patient- and caregiver-reported bleeding symptoms and reasons for starting and stopping treatment with recombinant factor VIIa: analysis of the Dosing Observational Study in Haemophilia (DOSE).

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RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612-3833, USA.


Acute haemorrhage treatment in patients with congenital haemophilia with inhibitors (CHwI) has transitioned to home. Patient/caregiver perceptions of bleeding symptoms and reasons for starting/stopping treatment were investigated. Frequently bleeding CHwI patients (≥ 4 episodes in 3 months) prescribed recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) as first-line therapy, or their caregivers, completed daily diaries for 3-6 months capturing bleeding symptoms and treatment decisions. Thirty-eight patients reported 131 joint, 19 muscle and 44 other bleeding events. Symptoms (all/joint/muscle haemorrhages) included pain (78.9%/90.1%/89.5%), joint swelling (44.8%/65.6%/5.3%), decreased mobility (41.2%/48.9%/68.4%), local warmth (21.1%/26.0%/15.8%), other swelling (16.0%/6.9%/47.4%), irritability (14.9%/16.8%/10.5%), visible bleeding (12.4%/7.6%/5.3%) and redness (10.3%/6.1%/10.5%). Most patients/caregivers recognized when bleeds started (58.4%/58.0%), but were less clear when bleeds stopped (43.5%/33.3%). Medication was commonly started by patients/caregivers when bleeds were identified (73.7%/47.4%) or when concerned bleeds might start (32.9%/27.6%). Common reasons for delays in starting medication by patients included 'I thought it might not be a bleed' (48.9%), 'I wanted to see if the bleed progressed' (46.8%) and 'I thought it was just joint pain' (44.7%). Common reasons for caregivers were: 'I wanted to see if it progressed' (37.9%), 'I didn't have medication' (20.7%) and 'I thought it might not be a bleed' (17.2%). Reasons for stopping medication for patients/caregivers were pain cessation/stabilization (93.9%/54.7%), arrest of swelling progression (60.6%/46.9%) and improved mobility (50.0%/35.9%). Patients/caregivers have difficulty in determining bleed onset and particularly resolution, both quite necessary for treatment decisions and clinical trials. Caregivers' inability to assess resolution in children may lead to longer treatment duration seen in the Dosing Observational Study in Haemophilia (DOSE).

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