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For parents/patients

What is Haemophilia?

Haemophilia is a genetic condition that affects the body's ability to control clotting of the blood. This means people with Haemophilia may suffer internal or external bleeding. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.

What does the physiotherapist do and how will it help?

Whilst working closely with other members of the haemophilia team, the physiotherapist has an active role in minimising or preventing secondary complications of the musculoskeletal system. This system involves your joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves and allows you to move, walk and be active. Bleeding into joints and muscles can cause pain, loss of range of movement, muscle weakness and loss of functional skills.

The majority of children are seen as outpatients. A comprehensive musculoskeletal assessment is carried out to monitor joint health and function twice a year, usually when you attend clinic. The physiotherapist will look at joint range, muscle strength, co-ordination, balance, walking, running and hopping. These assessments ensure any problems with joints or muscles are identified early to minimise further bleeding episodes.

The physiotherapist will ensure the appropriate support and treatment is in place, which may involve a referral to a child's local team. Patients and families also receive ongoing advice, promotion of exercise and appropriate activity, along with a program of exercises if this is required and education on the recognition and management of an acute bleed.

What sort of things might physiotherapy involve?

To help manage an acute joint or muscle bleed, a physiotherapist may advise PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation), use splints, crutches, stretches or strengthening exercises. Some of these activities may be carried out in the physiotherapy department, or at home. These are carried out until the joint or muscle is back to its previous function.

Physiotherapy Contact

Lucy Buckley - 0117 342 8525

Team Contacts

For the haemophilia nurse, please call 0117 342 8721 - (If there is no answer during the day please contact 0117 342 8145)

Night time and weekend emergency contact, please call the hospital on 0117 923 0000 and ask for the On call Registrar for Paediatric Oncology or go to the Accident and Emergency department, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, telephone 0117 342 8666

If you are a GP, please bleep the on call Paediatric Oncology Registrar.

Feeling unwell?

If you have a bleed and need to come to the centre for treatment, please telephone beforehand to let staff know you are coming. If you are not sure whether you have a bleed or need treatment, please telephone the team for advice.

If you have an accident

You should go to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Please show them your bleeding disorder card so that staff can be advised by the centre about treatment.

If you are admitted to another hospital

Please show them your bleeding disorder card so that staff can be advised by the centre about treatment.

The follow information leaflets are available to download:

More information about haemophilia and other bleeding disorders, along with details on local support groups for your area are available from the UK Haemophilia Society at