Living with a chronic health condition is not only uncomfortable and frustrating, but it can also take a toll on your emotional wellbeing and quality of life. And, when the condition is not well-known, the experience can come riddled with anxiety. Such is the case with aHUS disease. Oral medications may help keep it under control, but in some instances, patients fail to obtain relief from their prescriptions. In such cases, infusion therapy may be a good solution.
What is aHUS disease?
aHUS (atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome) disease is a condition that affects the immune system’s complement system — a group of proteins that work together to eliminate microorganisms that cause infections. This is called an uncontrolled complement system (also known as thrombotic microangiopathy or TMA), which causes inflammation and damages the cells on the walls of blood vessels. As a result, platelets become overactive — making it more likely for blood clots to form. Left untreated, it could result in complications, such as hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, kidney failure, or heart attack.
aHus disease is caused by a gene mutation and is more likely to be triggered in patients who are also experiencing any of the following:
- Malignant hypertension
- Organ transplant
- Taking certain medications
Symptoms vary from one person to the next. Generally, they include hematuria (blood in urine), signs of hemolytic anemia (fever, confusion, dark-colored urine, and jaundice), or signs of proteinuria (frequent urination, foamy urine, shortness of breath, puffiness around the eyes, and muscle cramping at night).
What is infusion therapy and how can it help aHus patients?
aHus patients can be treated with an infusion medication called Soliris. Infusion therapy involves inserting an IV line into a vein in your arm to administer the medicine. When a person takes an oral medication, they have to wait for it to be digested before they obtain any relief. But, since infusion therapy is inserted directly to the vein, it reaches the bloodstream instantly — providing faster relief. In addition to being more effective, it’s a more practical solution for patients with an underlying medical condition that makes it difficult to swallow.
What to expect?
At Infusion Associates, we want all of our patients to feel comfortable and well-informed. This is why, prior to starting treatment, a nurse will walk you through the infusion process — as well as answer all of your questions and concerns. The duration of treatments depends on your specific circumstances — but rest assured, you’ll be informed prior to getting started.
One of the aspects that make our facilities more welcoming than a sterile hospital is that we strive to make it feel like a home away from home. You can receive treatment in a comfortable reclining chair. We provide blankets, hot beverages, WiFi, and televisions. If it gives you peace of mind to have a loved one with you, you are welcome to bring them along or use one of our private rooms — available upon request.
Are there any risks associated with infusion therapy?
While there is a possibility of complications, these risks are minor and are far outweighed by the benefits. Some of the risks include infection at the site where the IV needle is inserted. In rare cases, the IV could become dislodged from the vein — causing the fluids to enter the tissues surrounding the vein. This can be ameliorated by having a healthcare professional reinsert the IV and providing you with a warm compress to prevent swelling. At Infusion Associates, you will always have a nurse monitoring your treatment to reduce the likelihood of complications.
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy for aHUS, Let Infusion Associates Help You
At Infusion Associates, we provide medically-prescribed infusion therapy for patients with chronic conditions in a welcoming and friendly environment. Our team of healthcare professionals is committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible. We always inform patients of any potential side effects and answer all their questions before starting treatment. In addition, we have a Registered Pharmacist on staff to make the process as seamless as possible.