Thalassaemia

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools support students with thalassaemia.

Prerequisite policy

See: Health Care Needs

Policy

Schools must implement strategies to assist students with thalassaemia. All students with thalassaemia must have a current Student Health Support Plan.

See: Health Support Planning Forms within Related policies

Definition

Thalassaemia:

  • is a hereditary blood disease that, if untreated, causes anaemia
  • is particularly prevalent in people with ancestry from:
    • Mediterranean countries
    • India
    • the Middle East
    • Southeast Asia.

This table describes the 2 forms of thalassaemia.

TypeDescription

Major

Serious illness where:

  • blood transfusions are needed every three to four weeks
  • the general health can be markedly affected
  • regular blood transfusions to boost haemoglobin levels in the blood is required.

Minor

More common and mild illness.  Although there may be some lack of energy, many students with thalassaemia minor appear quite healthy.

Strategies

Schools are able to assist students with thalassaemia by:

  • raising awareness about the condition with staff and if appropriate with students to increase understanding
  • ensuring that the school receives medical advice from the student’s health practitioner and that this practitioner completes the Department’s General Medical Form
  • recognising the educational and social implications for students with thalassaemia who:
    • make frequent trips to a hospital for the day for blood transfusions
    • may be restricted in their physical activities
  • communicating regularly with their parents about the student
  • suggesting to the parents/guardians that a student who is consistently lethargic should see a doctor.

Related policies

Other resources

  • Medical Therapy Unit at Monash Medical Centre on (03) 9594 2756.