A Household Item Prompts a Memory of a Hemophilia Hack

How this columnist got creative while accessing her son's port

Cazandra Campos-MacDonald avatar

by Cazandra Campos-MacDonald |

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The internet is overflowing with life hacks that can make tasks easier. From using a plastic knife to cleanly cut brownies to using pillowcases to clean ceiling fan blades, there are hundreds of tricks to help people solve problems.

For example, I recently grabbed a roll of Press’n Seal saran wrap to cover a dish in the kitchen at church. Using this kitchen staple caused me to recall a hemophilia hack I discovered during difficult times with my youngest son, Caeleb, who is 16 years old and a junior in high school.

When he was 11 months old, he had his first of many ports placed so he could be infused easily. He developed an inhibitor at an early age, and having immediate access to a vein was important.

In the first few years of having a port, Caeleb allowed his dad and me to infuse him easily. He would sit at the table, and after the numbing cream took effect, we would infuse him with factor when needed. Then, unfortunately, he developed a problem.

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How I Mastered the Self-infusion of Factor Products

When putting on the numbing cream, we would cover the area with Tegaderm, a clear, sterile patch. After about 30 minutes, the cream came off, and we would then use sterile technique to access Caeleb’s port. But he began developing a rash at the port site. Eventually, it was determined that he had an allergy to the Tegaderm patch. Despite many attempts with many similar products on the market, Caeleb’s skin continued to break down. We needed to find an alternative.

We eventually tried the Glad Press’n Seal Food Plastic Wrap we had in our kitchen drawer, and that did the trick, helping us to keep the numbing cream in place. While the plastic wiggled around a bit, it stayed in place long enough for the cream to take effect.

When I opened the roll of Press’n Seal at church, touching the slightly bumpy plastic immediately launched me back to a time I hadn’t thought about in years. Pulling the wrap from around the cardboard roll is unlike any other sound. The tackiness of the plastic makes a ripping noise as it tears away from the plastic on the tube. It sticks to the fingers, and once it adheres to the surface, it does not give way, forming a tight seal.

I remember how the wrap felt when placing it over the port. Caeleb always thought it was cool how the cream was squishy under the plastic, and he would move it around from one side of the port to the other. This fantastic wrap was a great hack that helped us through some difficult times, back when accessing a port was a critical part of Caeleb’s care.

In the bleeding disorder world, some hacks help community members get through each day a little easier. For example, tea bags can help stop the oozing of a mouth bleed, a soda can or bottle can serve as an impromptu Sharps container, and pool noodles can cover the ends of sharp tables to protect the heads of clumsy toddlers.

Which hacks help you in your daily life with a bleeding disorder? Please share in the comments below.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.

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