GREENVILLE, S.C.— Prisma Health has expanded its Hemophilia Treatment Center to include an office in Greenville as well as Columbia. Prisma Health has South Carolina’s only federally supported comprehensive hemophilia treatment center, serving a growing number of both children and adults across the state.
“Our mission is to provide access of care to all residents of South Carolina with hemophilia or other types of bleeding disorders,” said Leslie Gilbert, MD, director of the new location in the Upstate. “It is important that we educate the community about hemophilia and other bleeding disorders because they are so rare, and the lack of awareness can be detrimental to an individual’s health by leading to delayed or missed diagnoses,” said Gilbert, a pediatric hematologist oncologist at Prisma Health in the Upstate.
“Though bleeding disorders can be inherited, patients with bleeding disorders do not always have a family history of bleeding,” she cautioned. “It is important that even people without a family history of a bleeding disorder, immediately notify their doctor if they are suddenly experiencing prolonged bleeding from minor cuts, easy bruising or spontaneous joint pain and swelling as those can be signs of a bleeding disorder.”
While hemophilia most often occurs in males, it can affect women, too. Hemophilia is usually detected soon after birth whereas other bleeding disorders may remain undiagnosed until later in childhood or adolescence.
Treatment is available that allows affected individuals to lead relatively normal lives. The most common form of treatment — clotting-factor replacement therapy — is given intravenously and can be completed at home two to three times a week. As a result of recent advancements in treatment, some patients with hemophilia can give a subcutaneous shot once a week, but this is not available to all patients with hemophilia.
Two-to-three comprehensive clinics are offered each month. Comprehensive clinics use an integrated, team-based approach to improve health and quality of life. During comprehensive clinics, patients meet with a hematologist, nurse coordinator, pharmacist, physical therapist, psychologist, program associate and social worker.
“Our patients play a role in impacting the future of hemophilia through participation in the broader hemophilia research and advocacy community,” said Gilbert. “Federally supported Hemophilia Treatment Centers work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which collects data to monitor the health of people with hemophilia and uses data to advance knowledge and health practices for hemophilia and other related disorders.”
Gilbert said collaboration across Prisma Health was key to developing the full accredited program in Greenville, which helps bring leading-edge research and treatment closer to families in the Upstate.
The Hemophilia Treatment Center also has close partnerships with and access to resources from educational and advocacy community organizations, such as the Bleeding Disorders Association of South Carolina (BDASC).
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 acute care and specialty hospitals, 2,947 beds, approximately 300 outpatient sites, and nearly 5,000 employed and clinically integrated network physicians and providers, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.