Haemophilia

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools support students with haemophilia.

Prerequisite policy

See: Health Care Needs

Policy

Schools must implement strategies to assist students with haemophilia and ensure they have a Student Health Support Plan.

See: Health Support Planning Forms within Related policies

Definition

Haemophilia is a rare inherited condition where a person is missing Factor VIII or IX which are essential in forming a blood clot.  It is carried in the X chromosome so mainly affects males.  Effects can be mild, moderate or severe based on the clotting factor deficiency.  Effects include:

  • excessive bleeding, especially internally in joints and muscles
  • chronic pain and arthritis.

Treatment involves injections of blood products to stop internal bleeding:

  • two to three times per week
  • administered by:
    • a hospital with an accredited haemophilia centre, or
    • the student if they have been taught to inject themselves.

Impact at school

Students with haemophilia should not be singled out and should be encouraged to:

  • be involved in most school activities
  • set their own limits
  • stay fit.

Strategies

This table describes how schools can support students in managing their haemophilia.

StrategyDescription

Managing medications

When the student administers their own injections the school should:

  • support the student to find an appropriate time and space to have treatment
  • store medication in a refrigerator
  • provide the medication when treatment is required.

Camps and excursions

With planning and reasonable precautions most students with haemophilia should be able to attend school camps and special events provided:

  • parents/guardians:
    - collect the treatment product
    - provide an esky for transport
    - provide a letter of introduction from the Haemophilia Treatment Centre to be used when necessary.
  • when the venue is within a reasonable distance to a:
    - regional base hospital, or
    - a local doctor who is willing to help with student’s care.
  • that health information is received through the Department’s General Medical Advice Form.

Encouraging physical activity

With reasonable precautions most students should take part in physical activities other than contact sports such as football, boxing or cricket played with a hard ball. 

Communicating with parents

Regularly communicate with the student’s parents about the student’s successes, development, changes and any health and education concerns. 

Training staff

A seminar day for teachers, about working with students with haemophilia, is run annually by the:

  • Henry Ekert Haemophilia Treatment Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital in conjunction with Haemophilia Foundation Victoria.

Further information

The clinical nurse specialist at the Haemophilia Treatment Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital is available to:

  • contact regional staff on the student’s behalf
  • pass information onto the school via the child’s family.

General information is available from the Henry Ekert Haemophilia Treatment Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital, by contacting the following numbers and quoting the affected student’s hospital number (if known):

  • (03) 9345 5099 during business hours, or
  • the hospital switchboard on (03) 9345 5522 after hours asking for the haematologist on call.

Related policies

Other resources