A specialised multidisciplinary clinic that is helping individuals with haemophilia to prevent musculoskeletal complications has cared for more than 25 patients since being established last November.
The clinic, located at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Bone and Joint Center, is the first of its kind in the country and its establishment has meant that patients with haemophilia now have access to a more streamlined pathway when accessing orthopaedic care, HMC has said in a press statement.
According to Dr Mohamed Mubarak al-Ateeq al-Dosari, senior consultant and head of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department and director of the Bone and Joint Center, the establishment of the new specialised clinic is significant because it means patients with haemophilia can now receive all their orthopaedic care in a single location.
“Haemophilia is a condition that requires lifelong medical care from a multi-specialty team of healthcare professionals. The establishment of this clinic is noteworthy because we offer patients a unique depth of expertise in addressing their musculoskeletal system care needs and all of the care they need can be accessed in a more organized manner,” said Dr al-Ateeq.
Dr Hasan Azzam Abu Hejleh, associate consultant, surgery, Bone and Joint Center says haemophilia is a rare and typically inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood doesn't clot normally. He says the severity of the condition depends on the amount of factor VIII or factor IX in the blood, with the disease being classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
“Patients with haemophilia may bleed for a longer time than others after an injury. They may also experience internal bleeding, especially in the knees, ankles, and elbows. People with severe haemophilia usually experience spontaneous frequent bleeds into their muscles or joints and this bleeding can damage the organs and tissues and may be life-threatening. Chronic musculoskeletal complications and joint damage caused by prolonged bleeding is one of the major complications of haemophilia,” said Dr Abu Hejleh.
While haemophilia is rare, with type A haemophilia affecting around one in 10,000 people and type B haemophilia affecting approximately one in 50,000 people, Dr Abu Hejleh says the majority of adult patients with the condition will experience chronic degenerative changes in multiple major joints.
“While there have been many successful outcomes for individuals with haemophilia who have had orthopaedic surgery – specifically, reduced pain and discomfort, and significantly improved quality of life, co-ordinated, specialised multi-disciplinary preventive treatment (prophylaxis/prophylactic treatment) can help reduce, or delay, the need for surgery. Our new clinic provides dedicated, multi-specialty care and involves several specialties, including orthopedics and physical therapy, all in one location,” added Dr Abu Hejleh.
Mohamed Rafeeque, a specialised physiotherapist trained to care for haemophilia patients, says physiotherapy is also an important part of the puzzle. He says under the guidance of Noora al- Mudahka, chief of physiotherapy, physiotherapists working at Hamad General Hospital can help patients identify joint function deterioration, provide pain relief, increase joint range, and improve strength and flexibility.