What do I tell my other doctor or dentist?
Bleeding disorders are relatively rare conditions. Most doctors and dentists are not familiar with treatments for bleeding disorders and will not know about your treatment plan.
Although bleeding disorders in females are slowly becoming more well-known, many doctors, nurses and other health professionals still do not realise that girls and women can have inherited bleeding disorders. This can be an added challenge for young women who have bleeding symptoms.
It is important to have some personal strategies to help manage your health care when you are using services outside the Haemophilia Treatment Centre.
These tips give examples of the strategies some Australian women with bleeding symptoms have used.
- Bring the Female Factors booklet with you to any medical, health or dental appointments. You can use it to help answer questions you might be asked. Your HTC might also have specific brochures you can take with you, for example, on surgery or dentistry if you have a bleeding disorder.
- Make sure you know what type of bleeding disorder you have and how severe it is. If you are registered for the ABDR, ask the Haemophilia Treatment Centre to organise an ABDR patient card for you.
- Show your other doctors, dentist, and health care providers your ABDR patient card and ask them to liaise with your Haemophilia Treatment Centre. This will help with getting appropriate treatment.
- Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or jewellery and having an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in your mobile phone.
- Always inform your doctor, dentist or surgeon if you have a bleeding disorder before having any medical, dental or surgical procedures, no matter how minor.
- Before you have any procedures, contact your Haemophilia Treatment Centre and discuss the medical support you may need to prevent bleeding complications.
- Before you start taking anything prescribed by your doctor, naturopath or other health practitioner check with them whether it is safe for someone with a bleeding disorder.
Talking to health professionals
What can you do to have the best result from your appointment?
- Being prepared for your appointment can help – for example, being informed about your bleeding disorder and the symptoms you experience that are relevant to your appointment
- It might also help to have any letters explaining your diagnosis and the contact details of the Haemophilia Treatment Centre with you so you can give them to the health professional and they can find out more information with your consent.
- You may want to bring someone with you such as a parent or support person to help you explain your bleeding disorder to health care workers such as doctors and dentists.
- Some young women say they find it very helpful to stay calm when they explain their bleeding disorder to health professionals.
If you’d like to know more about talking to doctors and other health professionals download our Female Factors –What do I tell my other doctor or dentist? resource here. This contains more information on:
- Tips from other women with bleeding disorders
- How to get the best out of your appointment
For more information on bleeding disorders in young women read our full Female Factors resource