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Emergency and out of hours care of patients with inherited bleeding disorders


Dr Jecko Thachil, Department of Haematology, Roald Dahl Haemostasis and Thrombosis Centre, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK.
Tel.: +44 (0)151 706 4322; fax: +44 (0)151 706 5810;


Summary.  Recently, the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Doctors Organisation published recommendations for the standard of care for assessment and treatment of patients with bleeding disorders in the emergency department (A&E). An audit was undertaken to compare the level of care to the acceptable standards in a tertiary hospital A&E, attached to a haemophilia comprehensive care centre. A&E attendances were found by cross referencing all patients with known bleeding disorders against the EDMS attendance system. Visits from the past 3 years were identified to produce sufficient data and electronic notes from these visits were then accessed, and marked against the proforma. Data were available from 45 of a total of 54 patients, who had a total of 75 emergency visits documented. In all aspects of care, the standards were not adequately met including the average length of time between booking and clinical assessment, early initiation of specific haemostatic treatment, seeking haematology advice and arrangement of follow-up. Also no specialist clotting investigations were done with only 9/11 patients admitted having their haematological diagnosis recorded. In addition, only very few patients had the severity of bleeding disorder noted and less than half their first line treatment documented. There were significant differences in the standard of care for haemophilia patients provided by the A&E department when compared with acceptable standards. Measures have been put in place and policies have been drafted to improve this situation and provide the best possible care to persons with haemophilia.