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Open access

Debra Pollard, Barbara Subel, Pratima Chowdary and Keith Gomez

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of using a syringe driver perfusor pump to deliver frequent regular bolus doses of rFVIIa peri- and postoperatively to patients with severe haemophilia and inhibitors. Background: The provision of surgical haemostatic coverage with rFVIIa requires regular bolus doses, initially every two hours and subsequently three-hourly, moving to four- to six-hourly post-operatively. This has implications for safety and nursing time, and can influence clinical decision-making. We investigated the use of an infusion pump to deliver timed and accurate rFVIIa bolus doses during the postoperative period. Methods: Two patients with severe haemophilia A and inhibitors undergoing three procedures were managed with a pre-surgical bolus infusion of 120mcg/kg of rFVIIa, followed by postoperative doses of 90mcg/kg every two hours for the first 72 hours, and every three hours subsequently, with increasing dose intervals thereafter. All postoperative bolus doses were delivered via a pre-programmed infusion pump. The pump also required a constant background infusion set at 0.1ml/ hour for the first patient, and reduced to 0.01ml/hour for the second patient. Results: The pump was simple to use and readily accepted by patients and nursing staff. There were no delayed or missed doses, and good haemostasis was maintained. Overall nursing time involved in reconstituting and administering rFVIIa was reduced from three to six hours per treatment day (with conventional bolus dosing) to just one to two hours per day with the pump. Conclusions: The syringe pump successfully delivered the correct doses at the specified time intervals for all three procedures. The technique met the centre’s safety and efficacy criteria and resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of nursing time needed over a 24-hour period. This novel method of rFVIIa administration appears to be safe and effective in the elective surgery setting, and should be further investigated.

Open access

Debra Pollard, Kate Khair, Cléa Percier, Yen Wong and Robyn Shoemark

Abstract

Management of haemophilia involves on-demand or prophylactic intravenous administration of recombinant or plasma-derived replacement clotting factors or bypassing agents. These products are provided as lyophilised powder and diluent, which need to be mixed to produce a solution for infusion. While this process has previously involved multiple time-consuming steps, several reconstitution systems are now available to make mixing easier and more convenient. This study aimed to investigate experience of use and perceptions of the Novo Nordisk MixPro® mixing device among patients and carers using activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) or recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) with MixPro, and nurse specialists who were either familiar or unfamiliar with MixPro. Nurses were asked to simulate the preparation of an inactive solution using MixPro. Semi-structured interviews were used to gain insight into participants’ opinions of mixing systems in general and their perceptions of MixPro. Likert scales were used to rate the performance of MixPro against predefined characteristics of mixing systems, and the importance of the predefined characteristics to the design of a mixing system. Patients/carers and unfamiliar nurses identified low contamination risk when mixing as the most important characteristic of a mixing system; the most important criterion for familiar nurses was confidence that patients/carers could prepare the system correctly. MixPro was perceived to perform very well overall, particularly in parameters identified as most important. It was described as being user-friendly, simple and quick; its compactness and portability were highlighted as advantages for storage and travel. The main disadvantages reported related to its small components. The majority of nurses said that they were highly likely to recommend MixPro to their patients.

Open access

Mary Mathias and Debra Pollard

Abstract

Modern haemophilia care based on good diagnosis and effective prophylaxis has allowed boys born with haemophilia to grow up leading essentially normal lives. Nevertheless, there remain challenges notably those posed by inhibitors and patient expectations. There is now a significant cohort of men in their 30s, 40s and 50s who have been looked after extremely well but many of whom now have significant ankle arthropathy because they played football, even when advised not to do so at a time when prophylaxis was limited or started late. The imminent era of longer-acting clotting factors and gene therapy will also impact on future patient expectations. Meeting and managing these challenges will be much enhanced by the development and maintenance of good relationships between the patient and the haemophilia team.

Open access

Debra Pollard and Steve Chaplin

Abstract

Haemophilia treatment is characterised by intravenous infusions of clotting factor concentrates, with nurses frequently taking the lead role in administration, patient training and patient care. In recent years, a number of novel factor and non-factor-based therapies delivered by subcutaneous injection have been developed. These therapies are now undergoing clinical trials and will shortly be available in clinical practice. The coming era of at least some haemophilia treatments being delivered by subcutaneous injection clearly represents a significant change not only for patients (for whom they may be more convenient) but also for haemophilia nurse practice, particularly with respect to bleed and surgical management plans, and hence for nurse training and education. This review describes evidence-based guidance on subcutaneous injection technique and summarises the implications for nurses.

Open access

Kate Khair, Anica Phillott, Christine Loran, Debra Pollard, Claire Forrester, Sharon Alavian and Susan Hook

Abstract

Introduction: Haemophilia causes joint, muscle and soft tissue bleeds, often leading to pain and disability. These effects can have a significant impact on patients’ well-being and quality of life. There is a need to better understand patient priorities and concerns so that haemophilia healthcare professionals can develop strategies to meet these needs with individuals and their families. Methods: The HaemophiliaLIVE ethnographic study enrolled 16 families from four comprehensive care centres in the UK. Each family received a kit consisting of video recording equipment, seven sealed envelopes each containing a “secret question” and pre-paid envelopes for secure return of the video memory cards. Video footage was recorded daily to examine the impact of haemophilia. Results: Over 30 hours of recorded footage was obtained from 10 families with children/young adults, two young adults, and three older men. Six participants had a current inhibitor. The key themes identified were impact on: family relationships, school, employment and travel. The older participants and those with inhibitors reported that pain was a major factor in their day-to-day lives, and also expressed fear about loss of mobility and pending surgery. Although parents expressed anger and sadness about their child’s haemophilia, those with haemophilia were generally positive about their life experiences. Many reported that their employers were understanding and made additional provision for their haemophilia. Conclusions: Haemophilia has a significant impact on patients and their families. This research provides insight on the support needs of individuals and families.

Open access

Kate Khair, Colin Barker, Martin Bedford, Daksha Elliot, Christine Harrington, Kingsley Lawrence, M. Nicola Mackett and Debra Pollard

Abstract

The role of the nurse continues to develop, probably at greater speed than ever before. Would Florence Nightingale ever have dreamt of nurses who could manage whole episodes of patient care from diagnosis, through admission, requesting investigations, prescribing treatments and evaluating outcomes? She probably did - when she instigated the first nursing outcome measures looking at infection control. Nurses can and do, do most things. What is important is that they are appropriately trained and continue to develop skills, that are relevant both to them and the patients for whom they care. Assessing this ability, or competence, requires knowledge and skills in itself. In this paper we describe the process of defining competence in haemophilia nursing. Some of these competencies are transferable from other areas of nursing, others are haemophilia-specific. Together they provide a personal development framework for nurses who work within haemophilia as part or all of their role.