Keeping blood at an appropriate consistency is vital to good health. If blood clots too easily or is too thick, it can increase the risk of strokes or cardiac issues. Alternatively, if a patient’s blood consistency is too thin, they run the risk of uncontrolled internal and external bleeding.
In order for blood to clot effectively, various enzymes and proteins must be present and working in the body. If patients suffer from hemophilia, for example, their blood will not clot properly and this presents a serious health risk. In cases of hemophilia A or B, patients have formed antibodies to other clotting proteins, namely Coagulation Factor III and IX. By treating them with Coagulation Factor VIIa, physicians can increase the clotting ability of their blood and reduce the risk of uncontrolled bleeding occurring.
In addition to this, Coagulation Factor VIIa can be used to treat patients who have been diagnosed with acquired hemophilia, Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia and/or a congenital Factor VII deficiency. Although Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia is often treated with platelet transfusions, Coagulation Factor VIIa provides an alternative treatment for patients who did need to respond well to transfusions.
Rather than allowing these conditions to present an ongoing, life-threatening risk to the patient, Coagulation Factor VIIa can be used to restore their blood to a normal clotting level. Once this has been done successfully, patients should no longer be at risk of uncontrollable bleeding and/or excess blood loss.
As with any medicine or medical treatment, patients may experience side effects after receiving Coagulation Factor VIIa treatment. The following side effects tend to be fairly mild if they do occur and they often dissipate once the patient becomes accustomed to treatment:
• Stinging or burning at the site of the injection
• Feeling of warmth
• Vomiting or nausea
• Redness of the neck, face, arms and/or upper chest
• Red or purple pinpoint spots on skin
If patients experience these side effects after being given Coagulation Factor VIIa intravenously and they are concerned about the severity of them, they should seek medical advice. Similarly, if these side effects do not diminish or continue for a long time, patients should consult their physician.
When Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered, it may cause some patients to suffer more serious side effects. Although they are not particularly common, patients should seek medical advice if they experience any of the following after receiving treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa:
• Blurry vision
• Changes to facial color
• Blue color to the feet and/or hands
• Pain in chest
• Cold sweats
• Sore throat
• Continuing or increased thirst
• Problems with bleeding
• Unusual weight increase
• Unusual weakness or tiredness
• Excessive sweating
• Chest tightness
• Muscle pain or stiffness
• Fast heart rate
• Difficulty breathing
• hives, itching, or skin rash
• Decreased urination
• Joint pain or stiffness
• Flat, large purplish or blue patches on skin
• High blood pressure
• Lightheadedness when getting up from sitting or lying
• Slurring of speech
• Ongoing oozing or bleeding from or mucous membranes (mouth, nose, bowel or urinary bladder) and/or puncture sites
• Slow heartbeat (under 50 beats per minute)
• Irregular heartbeat
• Swelling or puffiness around the eyes or of the eyelids
• Swelling of the fingers, face, lower legs and/or feet
Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered intravenously, so if patients experience side effects straight away, it should be easy for them to obtain medical help. If patients suffer side effects after receiving treatment, however, they should contact their physician or attend the nearest medical facility. Similarly, if patients experience any side effects which are not listed above, they should seek medical guidance.
If patients choose to, they can also report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration on 1-800-FDA-1088.
As Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered intravenously, it does not take long for patients to receive the treatment. A nurse or doctor will usually inject Coagulation Factor VIIa into the patient’s vein over a few minutes. If necessary, this process can be repeated. If patients do require further treatment, additional Coagulation Factor VIIa will normally be applied every two to six hours, although this can depend on the doctor’s instructions.
There is no standard dose when treating patients with Coagulation Factor VIIa but the solution is often prepared at strengths of either 1mg, 2mg, 5mg or 8mg. Doctors will determine how much Coagulation Factor VIIa should be administered based on the patient’s clinical presentation, weight, medical history and/or diagnosed conditions.
As Coagulation Factor VIIa is supplied in powder form, doctors simply prepare a solution using the powder and are able to determine what dose is appropriate for each individual patient. Patients should, of course, discuss their treatment with their physician and, if possible, make a note of the dose they’re given each time they undergo treatment.
If Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered in addition to other medications, an interaction may occur. In most instances, Coagulation Factor VIIa will not be administered if the patient is already receiving treatment with the following substances:
• Factor VIII
• Prothrombin Complex
If physicians believe that treating patients with Coagulation Factor VIIa alongside one of the substances listed above, they may prescribe the medication accordingly. Patients should be regularly monitored, however, to ensure that interactions do not occur or that they are treated accordingly.
Prior to receiving treatment, patients should inform their physician of any other medicines, supplements and/or vitamins they are taking. This includes medications they have purchased without a prescription. Similarly, if patients have received Coagulation Factor VIIa treatment, they should seek medical advice before using any over-the-counter medicines, supplements and/or vitamins.
Treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa may be affected if patients have any of the following medical conditions:
• History of blood clots
• Liver Disease
• Crush injuries
• Heart Disease
If patients have experienced blood clots or medical problems caused by blood clots, treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa is unlikely to be viable. As Coagulation Factor VIIa promotes clotting in the blood, this could worsen the patient’s existing condition. Similarly, liver disease may increase the risk of blood clots occurring, so treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa should be prescribed cautiously.
If patients are able to do so, they should discuss their medical history and existing conditions with their physician before receiving Coagulation Factor VIIa. This helps to ensure that the treatment is appropriate, safe and beneficial. If patients are unable to do this, their representative and/or next-of-kin should liaise with the relevant medical professionals.
Due to the potential risks to the unborn fetus, pregnant patients are not usually treated with Coagulation Factor VIIa. However, if no alternative is available and if doctors believe the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks, pregnant patients may be treated with Coagulation Factor VIIa.
If patients become pregnant soon after receiving Coagulation Factor VIIa, they should contact their doctor for medical advice.
It is not yet known if Coagulation Factor VIIa can be transferred to an infant via breastfeeding. Due to this, patients are normally advised not to breastfeed if they have received treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa. The patient should discuss the potential risks with their physician before considering breastfeeding if they have been treated with this medication.
Before receiving treatment, patients should inform their doctor if they are allergic to any substances. If possible, this information should be added to their medical records in case they require emergency treatment at any time. As Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered in a clinical setting, patients should be able to access medical assistance quickly if an allergic reaction occurs during treatment. If patients believe they are experiencing an allergic reaction once they have been discharged from hospital, however, they should seek urgent medical help.
Often, Coagulation Factor VIIa should be stored at a refrigerated temperature and administered within three hours of being prepared. As Coagulation Factor VIIa is administered in a clinical setting, patients should not be required to store or prepare the solution.
Instead, this will be the responsibility of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners.
Any condition which affects a patient’s blood can have serious consequences. Excessive clotting carries certain health risks but if blood fails to clot, it can be just as serious. A relatively minor cut or injury could quickly develop into a life-threatening situation if a patient’s blood doesn’t clot quickly enough.
In addition to this, patients may not realize that they are suffering from internal bleeding if their blood fails to clot. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening for any patient but patients with blood disorders may face an increased risk of complications occurring.
Depending on the type of blood condition the patient has been diagnosed with, there are various treatments available. In cases of hemophilia A or B, Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia and/or acquired hemophilia, treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa can be extremely effective. By promoting the blood’s ability to clot, treatment with Coagulation Factor VIIa ensures that patients do not face the risk of uncontrollable bleeding and the treatment can, therefore be life-saving.