Introduction: Acquired hemophilia A is a rare bleeding disorder with a high mortality rate. Diagnosis and treatment of this disorder can be very challenging to anesthesiologists because of lack of a personal or familial abnormal bleeding history.
Case presentation: We report a 60-year-old woman who presented to the operating room for an urgent fasciotomy. She was initially diagnosed to have compartment syndrome of her left upper extremity secondary to an expanding hematoma after multiple unsuccessful venipuncture attempts. After surgical intervention, she developed recurrent intramuscular hematomas, became severely anemic, and required surgical re-exploration and multiple blood product transfusions. Ultimately, she was found to have an elevated activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), very low FVIII activity, and high FVIII inhibitor titers consistent with the diagnosis of acquired hemophilia A.
Conclusions: Treatment strategies in acquired hemophilia are based on two major objectives. During the acute stage, effective control of bleeding is critical. The ultimate therapeutic goal during the subacute phase is the elimination of the inhibitors targeting factor VIII. Here, we present this case and will review current literature regarding therapeutic approaches to this rare condition in the operating room setting and postoperative course.