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World Haemophilia Day: Tips For Living Healthy With Haemophilia

World Haemophilia Day is observed on 17 April every year to create awareness about haemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Since 1989, on World Haemophilia Day, the whole community of bleeding disorders comes together to celebrate the continuous advances in haemophilia treatment while raising awareness and bringing attention to proper self-care.

Haemophilia is a rare disorder in which your blood does not clot properly and when the blood can't clot properly, excess bleeding occurs after there is an internal or external injury or damage.

Living with haemophilia can be challenging but with proper self-care, it can help reduce the risk of complications and can live fairly normal lives.

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1. Exercise

People with haemophilia should stay physically active to improve muscle and bone strength. Exercising daily will strengthen muscles and bones and this will help protect the joints and lower the risk of spontaneous bleeding.

A research study has shown that joint disease is a risk factor that can affect the quality of life for people with haemophilia [1]. Practice sports that are less risky and not cause injury such as walking, cycling and swimming.

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2. Practice good dental hygiene

It is essential to clean your teeth and gums to avoid any kind of dental diseases that may lead to excessive bleeding. So, brush your teeth regularly in the morning and at night before going to bed.

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3. Go for yearly check-ups and vaccinations

People living with haemophilia should get their yearly check-ups and vaccinations to ensure that they are healthy and safe. Vaccinations such as hepatitis A and B are highly effective in lowering the risk of hepatitis A and B infection in people with haemophilia [2]. They should also get tested regularly for blood infections.

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4. Treat cuts immediately

People with haemophilia and their caregivers should be aware of how to manage severe bleeding if it occurs. Things that may put the haemophilia person at a risk of mild to severe bleeding should be avoided.

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5. Get tested for blood-borne infections

People with haemophilia should get tested regularly for blood-borne infections to reduce the risk of complications. The sooner they are aware of a possible blood-borne infection, the faster they can get treated.

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6. Avoid certain medications

People with haemophilia should avoid blood-thinner medications such as warfarin and heparin. They should also avoid over-the-counter medications. Have those medicines which have been only prescribed by your doctor.

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7. Physiotherapy

People with haemophilia should consult a physiotherapist who can give advice on what to do to improve health. A physiotherapist will create an exercise programme for you that will maximise activity without causing any damage to muscles and joints [3].

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8. Get check-ups done at a haemophilia treatment centre

Haemophilia treatment centres (HTC) have a team of healthcare providers that consists of a haematologist (doctor of blood diseases), an orthopaedist (to treat joint pain symptoms), a paediatrician, a nurse, a physiotherapist and a dentist.

People with haemophilia who receive care at an HTC have better overall health care and are less likely to die early from their condition [4], [5].

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9. Children should be kept away from sharp objects

Scissors, needles, knives and other sharp objects should be kept away from children as they could get cut from sharp objects and increase the risk of excess bleeding. Ensure that children wear their helmet while riding a bicycle.

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