A transgender person with haemophilia

Open access

Abstract

Introduction: Transgender people face many obstacles to accessing healthcare but cultural changes are likely to increase provision of sex reassignment surgery in countries with sufficient resources. Haemophilia services traditionally focus on providing factor replacement therapy for males and should therefore understand how the care they provide can be adapted to meet the needs of transgender people. Haemophilia is an X-linked congenital bleeding disorder, caused by deficiency of coagulation factor VIII (haemophilia A) or factor IX (haemophilia B). The condition is passed on through carrier females, the majority of whom have a factor level high enough to allow for normal blood clotting. However, around 10% of carrier females are symptomatic and at risk of abnormal bleeding. Case presentation: This case report describes a person with mild haemophilia A who, on first presentation to the haemophilia service, stated he was a transgender person in transition to becoming a male. Haemophilia was diagnosed when heavy bleeding occurred following bilateral mastectomy approximately 25 years previously. He now requested phalloplasty. Management and outcome: Phalloplasty was performed at a hospital geographically separate from the haemophilia centre, requiring careful coordination between the two services. A haemophilia specialist nurse provided education and training about haemophilia and its management to the surgical nurses. Twenty-four-hour support was available from the nurse and a specialist doctor. Preparation and administration of clotting factor was the responsibility of the haemophilia nurse until the surgical team was confident in its use. Clotting factor replacement was managed using standard procedures, successfully maintaining factor VIII above a target level of 100% with a twice daily dose. Surgery went well, but wound healing was delayed, in part, due to persistent bleeding. Discussion: Close collaboration between the haemophilia and surgical teams provided effective prophylaxis of bleeding during a complex

procedure that presented new challenges. Both services now have better understanding of the needs of transgender people.

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