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Health Beat: Life-saving treatment for hemophilia

Health Beat: Life-saving treatment...

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Play time 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 four weeks of age with severe hemophilia A after he had his circumcision," said Christina Buth, Caden's mom.

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

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

Doctors referred her to pediatric hematologist, Dr. Tung Wynn, division of pediatric hematology/oncology at UF Health Shand's Children's. The main treatment for hemophilia is called factor replacement therapy.

"The normal treatment for hemophilia is to provide them with the factor they are missing," Wynn said. "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, 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," Wynn explained.

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, and it mainly affects males. According to the CDC, it occurs in one in every 5,000 male births.

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