Intravenous literature: Santagostino, E. and Mancuso, M.E. (2010) Venous access in haemophilic children: choice and management. Haemophilia. 16 Suppl 1, p.20-4.
Current haemophilia treatment in children is based on regular intravenous infusions of concentrates for prolonged periods, according to prophylaxis regimens or immune tolerance induction treatment, in cases of inhibitor development. Therefore, a stable and uncomplicated venous access is required and as such peripheral veins represent the preferred option. However, frequent infusions in the home setting can be problematic in very young children and for this reason, central venous access devices (CVADs) have been widely used to improve treatment feasibility. Unfortunately CVADs’ use is associated with a high rate of complications, and infections and thrombotic occlusion can influence treatment outcome by causing unwanted treatment interruption. CVADs can be grouped into three main categories: external non-tunnelled, external tunnelled and fully implantable devices known as ports. The management of CVADs at home often represents a challenge because a strict adherence to sterile procedures is required. Indeed, the incidence of infections with ports is much lower than that reported for external devices; however, ports carry the inconvenience of needle sticks. More recently, arteriovenous fistula was shown to be a suitable alternative to CVADs because it is easy to use and is associated with a lower rate of complication.