March is Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month, and the team at the Bleeding & Clotting Disorders Institute are our local experts in caring for bleeding and blood clotting disorders. This April marks 10 years of BCDI serving patients throughout the state of Illinois and beyond.
A bleeding disorder is a condition that affects the way your blood normally clots. The clotting process—or coagulation—changes blood from liquid to a solid. When you’re injured, your blood normally begins to clot to prevent a massive loss of blood. The disorder comes when your blood does not clot as expected. The other side of that is when your blood clots and prevents the normal flow of blood through the vessels. BCDI treats a wide range of bleeding and clotting disorders, some examples include; hemophilia, Von Willebrand Disease, immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
Dr. Michael Tarantino had a mission when he opened the doors at BCDI to provide integrated, family-oriented care, treatment, and education for persons with bleeding, blood clotting, and other blood disorders. BCDI is the only not for profit, federally funded Hemophilia Treatment Center of Excellence, south of Chicago. We draw patients from 15 states throughout the “downstate” Illinois area. This mission that started BCDI, carries on today.
The team at BCDI uses a comprehensive care approach. When a patient has a comprehensive clinic appointment, they will see an entire team. This team may include a hematologist, nurse practitioner, nurse coordinator, social worker, physical therapist, and dentist. Particular clinics also include an immunologist and dietician. The members of this team meet with the patient and then come together to create a care plan that is shared with the patient’s other physicians. We consider the patient and their family to be an integral part of the team.
Comprehensive care has been proven to reduce hospitalization for a bleed complication by roughly 40 percent, as well as reduce the likelihood of death by about the same percentage according to Soucie M, PhD. Public health surveillance and data collection: general principles and impact on hemophilia care. (Hematology, 2012 Apr. S144-S146.) This approach treats the whole patient and leads to better diagnosis, treatment and long-term care of patients with bleeding and clotting disorders.
We know that there are patients all over the state that need assistance with their bleeding and clotting disorders that can’t make it to Peoria for care. To assist these patients, we have comprehensive clinics in ten cities throughout the state. Our comprehensive team travels to Rockford, Ottawa, Macomb, Moline, Decatur, Arthur, Springfield, Champaign, and now Carbondale to bring care to the patients. This decreases the burden on these patients and increases quality of life.
It is also important that we continually educate our patients and others that may be involved in their care. BCDI offers education events to our patients in areas that can best help them. Some of the topics we will cover this year include; the latest treatments, the importance of being treated at a Hemophilia Treatment Center of Excellence, and ways patients can advocate for themselves. We also offer a resource to medical professionals through education events and consultation.
Beyond treating patients, BCDI is a leader in clinical and translational research studies in the fields of hemostasis, thrombosis, and benign hematology. These grant funded projects are conceived by our physicians and/or collaborations with national and international colleagues to bring cutting edge research to central and southern Illinois.
BCDI physicians are often brought in on some of the most difficult cases. In Illinois during March and April of 2018, more than 150 patients presented to hospitals bleeding and without the ability to form blood clots to stop the bleeding. They also were showing signs of easy bruising and an unusual susceptibility to bleed. Patients were bleeding non-stop and no one could figure out why or how to stop it. The doctors at BCDI, along with other colleagues determined it was from the use of synthetic cannabinoid that contained a superwarfarin poison. The doctors decided using very high amounts of vitamin K replacement therapy could help these patients. Patients responded to the treatment and this became the course of treatment going forward. This information was shared across the other hospitals experiencing patients with the same symptoms. Drs Roberts, Tarantino, and other members of the team wrote an abstract An Outbreak of Synthetic Cannabinoid-Associated Coagulopathy in Illinois about the outbreak and how it was resolved that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
BCDI is proud to be an integral part of the medical community in Peoria and all of “Downstate Illinois” serving the patients with bleeding and clotting disorders. We will continue our mission of helping those patients and their families get the best care possible and always be involved in research that could improve their lives or help the disorders they live with.
We will be celebrating 10 years of service to the bleeding and clotting disorders community on April 17th from 4pm–6pm at the center. Please join us at 9128 N. Lindbergh Dr., Peoria, to meet the team or learn more about what we do! There will be information about the center as well as prizes, refreshments, and give aways! If you are unable to attend but want to know more about BCDI, please contact Cindy Kiel at Cindy@ilbcdi.org.
For more information call Cindy at (309) 692-5337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.