Treat fast — be prepared for the unexpected

Welcome back to the Changing Haemophilia blog! This month we are talking about bleeding episodes and how to make sure we are properly prepared for a bleed so that we can treat it — FAST!

 


Published 26 June 2018 | 3 min read
 


Bleeds happen, how can we be adequately prepared?

The World Federation of Haemophilia recommend that a bleed should be treated as quickly as possible, preferably within 2 hours.¹ Sounds simple enough; however, bleeds can often be unexpected and catch us unaware, so how can we make sure we are prepared? Firstly and most importantly, visit your HCP and ask them about the correct way to be prepared, they will be able to advise you on:
 

  • Ensuring you have easy fast access to any treatment that might be needed
  • Knowing the relationship between bleeding severity to the amount of clotting factor you may need
  • Carrying accessible medical identification in case of emergencies
  • Knowing the early signs and symptoms so you can treat fast

How can we minimise the risks of bleeding?

There are some essential non-treatment related areas we must focus on to minimise the risk of bleeds:

Oral hygiene:²

Oral surgeries can cause bleeding that lasts for days or even weeks and cannot always be controlled with pressure. Therefore, maintaining a healthy mouth is so important for people with bleeding disorders, not only for quality of life and nutrition, but also to avoid the dangers of surgery.

Preventing dental problems include:
 

  • Reducing the frequency and amount of sugars in the diet
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Practicing regular oral hygiene (at least twice daily)
  • Using fluoride toothpastes/mouthwashes
  • Regular visits to the dentist

Physical activity:¹-³

We know that taking part in regular exercise to keep muscles and joints strong is vital, but which exercises are best? Of course it depends on what you find the most enjoyable, your own limitations and what your HCP recommends; however, here are a few low impact options: swimming, golf, tennis, cycling, walking, dancing, yoga, badminton, archery, rowing, sailing and table tennis.

Healthy lifestyle:¹

This is much easier to say than to do; however, staying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight really is central to not only minimising the risks of bleeding, but also but also improving self-esteem.

Avoiding certain medications:¹-³

Some pain medications can affect our platelets and should be avoided by anyone with an existing bleeding disorder, including aspirin, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and blood thinners like warfarin.

Read more about dealing with bleeding episodes in our other June blog and don’t forget to speak with your HCP about being correctly prepared for a bleed so that you can treat fast.

Remember, if in doubt — treat.¹

For more information, please visit the Changing Haemophilia website: https://www.novonordisk.com/about-novo-nordisk/changing-haemophilia.html


References

  1. World federation of Haemophilia. Oral Care for People with Hemophilia or a Hereditary Bleeding Tendency http://www1.wfh.org/publication/files/pdf-1164.pdf. Accessed May 2018.
  2. World federation of hemophilia. Guidelines for the management of hemophilia. https://www.wfh.org/en/resources/wfh-treatment-guidelines: Accessed May 2018.
  3. Canadian Hemophilia Society. Precautions. http://www.hemophilia.ca/en/bleeding-disorders/hemophilia-a-and-b/precautions/. Accessed May 2018.