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Care for Bleeding Disorders & Hemophilia

Why Choose Treatment for Bleeding Disorders & Hemophilia at University of Colorado Hospital?

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The doctors who treat persons with bleeding disorders at University of Colorado Hospital are board certified in hematology. They work both at the University of Colorado Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center for outpatient visits and admit patients to University of Colorado Hospital for hospital required care.

What are Bleeding Disorders & Hemophilia?

Bleeding disorders affect the body's ability to control blood clotting (coagulation). The disorders cause excessive bleeding, even without an injury.

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder caused by a lack of blood proteins (clotting factors). These proteins help the blood to clot. Around 20,000 people in the U.S. have hemophilia.

A lack of blood proteins also causes von Willebrand's disease, which affects one percent to two percent of the U.S. population.

Bleeding disorders can also be caused by low levels of platelets, a special type of sticky blood cell. Platelets help to "plug up" a bleeding vessel.  There are an unknown number of persons with platelet disorders in the U.S.

Medical Team

Doctors, nurses and other providers at UCH work together to treat patients with bleeding disorders. Doctors provide the best possible care to both adults and children.

 

Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia Specialists

Hematologist – A doctor who treats diseases of the blood and the blood-forming organs

 

Orthopedic surgeon – A doctor who performs surgery on joints and bones, that may have been damaged. Surgery and hematology teams work together to replace the blood factors needed for safe surgery

 

Other Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia Staff

Clinical care nurse – A nurse who specializes in the care of a specific patient population

 

Physical therapist – A specialist who treats diseases through exercise, massage, water, light and heat

 

Social worker – A specialist who provides social services

 

Special coagulation lab technician – A specialist who tests blood. This is an important part of patient treatment.

 

Pharmacy services provider – A provider who supplies medications

Tests and Treatments

Tests for Bleeding Disorders

 

Complete Blood Count. Your doctor may order a complete blood count (CBC) to determine the number of platelets, which are key clotting factors, in the blood. A low platelet count may be an indication of a bleeding disorder.

 

Prothrombin Time. The prothrombin time (PT) blood test shows whether or not important clotting factors are present in the blood. The test also measures the time it takes blood to clot. The PT test can reveal hemophilia or other blood disorders, as well as poor liver function.

 

Partial Thromboplastin Time. The partial thromboplastin time (PTT) is another blood test that measures the time that it takes blood to clot.

 

Factor VIII Assay. The Factor VIII assay blood test measures the function of a specific protein (Factor VIII) used to help blood to clot. Low levels of this protein may be a sign of bleeding disorders, liver disease and other conditions.

 

Von Willebrand Factor. This test measures the presence and function of von Willebrand factor, a protein that helps platelets to plug damaged blood vessels. Von Willebrand factor also carries the Factor VIII protein through the bloodstream.

 

Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia Treatments

Treatments for bleeding disorders include:

  • Hormones that increase the amount of clotting factors in the blood or cause the body to release clotting factors
  • Drugs that prevent clots from breaking down
  • Injections of plasma (the liquid part of blood) into the blood. Injections of concentrates containing clotting factors may also be used

Patient Education

Living with Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia

To avoid complications of hemophilia, it is important to:

  • Follow prescribed treatments
  • Tell any new medical provider about your condition
  • Get regular checkups and recommended vaccinations
  • Get regular dental care
  • Monitor your body for signs of bleeding in joints and other parts of the body
  • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, which affect your body's blood-clotting ability
  • Notify your doctor before staring an exercise program or new sport

 

Getting a Second Opinion about Bleeding Disorders and Hemophilia

Your doctor might not have significant experience with bleeding disorders. In that case, a second opinion is often helpful.

 

Additional Bleeding Disorder and Hemophilia Resources

University of Colorado Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center

National Hemophilia Association

Medline Plus: Hemophilia

Medline Plus: Bleeding Disorders

UPI Building at Anschutz

University of Colorado Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center

The UCHTC is the only facility with hemophilia expertise in the region. As the region's premier center for the treatment of patients with bleeding and clotting disorders, the UCHTC is an international leader in clinical and laboratory research.

Visit our website

The team of experienced physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, social workers and researchers are dedicated to making the UCHTC a comprehensive care unit for all persons affected by bleeding and clotting disorders. The clinic is an ambulatory care outpatient clinic that is located at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Bleeding Disorders Research Trials

The University of Colorado Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center currently manages numerous clinical trials for persons with bleeding disorders.

For more information, please contact Dierdre Cooper-Blacketer at (303) 724-0692.

Ongoing studies at UCHTC