Discovering that you have, or may have, a bleeding disorder can be alarming – especially if you are unaware of what it entails.
Lisa Thibeault is a Nurse in the Southeastern Ontario Inherited Bleeding Disorder Clinic. Lisa is the first point of contact for many people who are investigating if they may have a bleeding disorder. We discussed the Self-BAT test, common questions she addresses often at the clinic, and how to get the help you need if you think you might have a bleeding disorder.
Have you taken the Self-BAT or referred someone you know? What has the result been?
Yes, I have referred people to take the Self-BAT. One of the women had a Bleeding Score of 9, and I advised her, after having further discussion with her and getting a detailed history, to ask her family physician for a referral to a hematologist for further investigation. She tells me she has an upcoming appointment shortly.
When someone is worried that they have a bleeding disorder, what are common first questions?
- What is a bleeding disorder, and how will it affect me day to day?
- How does blood clot normally?
- How common are bleeding disorders? How serious is this? Is there a cure?
- Will this affect my children?
- How did I get this bleeding disorder?
- What are the symptoms of a bleeding disorder?
- What can you do to help me (if they struggle with troublesome nosebleeds or heavy periods for example)
If someone thinks they have a bleeding disorder, how long should they wait to talk to a medical professional about it? Can they talk to any doctor or should they get a referral to a specialist?
If someone thinks they have a bleeding disorder, they should speak to a medical professional right away to get the proper people involved in their care. They can start by taking the Self-BAT, then talking to their family doctor who could then refer them to a hematologist if their history is of concern.
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