A Precautionary Infusion Suddenly Revealed a Complication
My family was involved in a car accident. An afternoon to the movies turned into phone calls to the police, 911, and the insurance company. Left behind by a reckless driver, I am grateful that two witnesses came forward. Having never been in an accident, I hope this is my last one.
I am grateful that my husband, son, and I only sustained bumps and bruises. But the minute I realized what had happened, I knew that my son, Caeleb, who has hemophilia, would need to go to the emergency room.
My husband and I were stunned, hearts racing, as we sat with cars whizzing past, thinking about which calls to make first. Caeleb insisted he felt fine and did not hit his head, but my “hemo mom” training told me to call the hemophilia treatment center for instructions.
In the past, I would have insisted on an infusion upon arrival, but with Caeleb’s new treatment, immediately infusing is no longer on my mind. X-rays and tests were conducted, and we were declared well.
The doctor decided to give Caeleb an infusion as a precaution. I made sure the correct factor product was ordered, and we waited. Caeleb’s current treatment has kept him bleed-free for years, so an infusion of factor VIII would be a safeguard. An infusion didn’t concern me.
Caeleb was infused with a plasma-based product, one he has in stock at home for emergency use. Caeleb’s chest began to tighten within 20 minutes after the infusion, and red splotches covered his body. The allergic reaction was an all-too-familiar sight.
Fortunately, the nurse was prepared with an EpiPen and Benadryl in the event of any complications. At that moment, I realized that I was not fully prepared to infuse at home.
For years, Caeleb used an allergy medication that helped his body accept plasma-derived factor VIII. Since his current treatment keeps him from bleeding regularly, the thought that his body might reject factor again was far from my mind.
What if Caeleb infused at home and had a similar reaction? What if he infused alone and had a reaction? What if this accident hadn’t happened?
For the last few years, hemophilia has been the least of my worries. Caeleb’s daily infusion schedule evolved into two subcutaneous injections each month. I treasure having this beautiful gift of “normalcy” for an extended season; it allowed me to rest. Yet, it has allowed complacency to become part of my life.
The accident woke me up. I feel my senses working overtime, trying to capture every detail in my environment. Suddenly, my life has shifted into a new gear that is slowing me down just long enough to savor the beauty in the world. In these slower moments, I give great thanks that Caeleb’s allergy appeared in an optimal situation.
The car accident could have been much worse. We walked away without significant injuries. We have good insurance and great friends who can help at a moment’s notice. Without serious complications, we discovered a change in Caeleb’s condition that needs attention. If this is the worst of a terrible situation, I will continue to count my blessings and give thanks for another day.
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 Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.