Life saving treatment for hemophilia

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In Friday's Health Watch, we are shown how a treatment is showing promise for patients when other methods have failed. (KFSN)

Every minor scratch can be scary for people who have a blood-clotting disorder.

Playtime is the best time for little Caden Buth. While he's full of energy, Caden must be very careful how he plays.

"He was diagnosed at 4 weeks of age with severe hemophilia A after he had his circumcision," said Caden's mom, Christina Buth.

After the procedure, Christina Buth says the bleeding never stopped. She took him back to the hospital.

"They didn't know what to do," Buth explained.

Doctors referred her to a pediatric hematologist, doctor Tung Wynn. The main treatment for hemophilia is called factor replacement therapy.

Doctor Wynn says, "The normal treatment for hemophilia is to provide them with the factor they are missing. In Caden's case, he's missing factor 8."

Caden's body developed inhibitors, making the treatment ineffective. The wrong move could cause a severe bleed, or worse, a brain bleed.

"For a parent, that is the scariest thing you can think of, is to lose your child," said Buth.

While past treatments for hemophiliacs included protection and isolation, Doctor Wynn's remedy for Caden is called bypass therapy.

"In order to get him to clot we have to activate the clotting system in an alternative pathway," explained Wynn.

The medicine is administered through a port. And for Caden's parents, it's a rigorous schedule.

"My husband and I, every four hours, gave factor on around the clock basis," explained Buth.

Now he's taking factor three days a week and an immune suppression drug twice a day, with hopes of starting a new treatment allowing him to maintain his hemophilia for good.

Hemophilia is an inherited genetic blood disorder that mainly affects males. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it occurs in one in every five thousand male births.

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