New line of haemophilia treatment in Mumbai reduces hospital visits
Mumbai city news: Around 50 children with haemophilia have been on prophylaxis therapy at KEM Hospital.mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2017 08:50 IST
At two, Ganesh Chauhan was diagnosed with Haemophilia — a rare genetic disorder which prevents blood from clotting. Since then, his mother has been scampering to KEM Hospital in Parel — every time he has slight injury or inflammation leading to excessive bleeding.
But her regular visits to rush Ganesh, who is seven now, to the hospital will reduce, thanks to a new line of treatment called prophylaxis therapy.
Around 50 children with haemophilia have been on prophylaxis therapy at KEM Hospital. The major advantage of the therapy is that patients do not have to be taken to the hospital every time they bleed, said a doctor at the hospital. Parents have to bring their children only twice a week for the treatment. In the coming days, doctors plan to train parents in injecting drugs at home.
“Haemophilia patients do not have proteins called ‘factors’, which are essential for blood clot formation,” said a doctor. These patients are taken to the hospital and are injected with blood coagulating drugs called Factor VIII or IX, on an emergency basis, every time they bleed.
“In prophylaxis therapy, patients are injected with blood clotting factors twice a week,” said Dr Chandrakala S, associate professor, department of clinical haematology, KEM Hospital which is the first in the city to start the therapy.
Globally, prophylaxis is the accepted standard of care for haemophilia patients as it prevents long-term damage to the joints, which is common in adult patients. However in India, it has not picked up owing to the exorbitant cost of the drugs.
“Some patients who develop antibodies to these factors may need other drugs called FIBA and NovoSeven, which are even more expensive,” said Dr Chandrakala added
One unit of factor costs Rs30 to the government. A patient weighing 50kg needs at least 1,000 units in one session. The drugs are supplied to KEM Hospital by the DHS and the World Haemophilia Federation and are available to patients free of cost.
The drugs are supplied to KEM Hospital by the Directorate of Health Services and the World Haemophilia Federation and are available to the patients free of cost.
At present the hospital has the therapy rolled out only for children as they are better candidates to benefit from the treatment compared to adults. “As a result of uncontrolled bleeding from the muscular and bone tissues, many adult patients have already developed deformities, which in some cases are very debilitating. At KEM, we have mainly started the prophylaxis treatment for children, to prevent such long term damages in their adulthood” Dr Chandrakala said.