Why was my child referred to the Bleeding Disorders Clinic?
Your child has been referred to us to “rule out” a bleeding disorder. There are many reasons that a person might need to be tested for a bleeding disorder. It may be because of nose bleeds, easy bruising, heavy periods in females, or other bleeding symptoms. Sometimes a specialist (like an ear, nose, and throat doctor) will refer a patient because of “abnormal” lab results.
What are you looking for? How do you check for a bleeding disorder?
There are many different bleeding disorders. Some only affect boys, and others affect boys and girls equally. Some terms you might hear are factor deficiencies, platelet disorders, von Willebrand disease, or hemophilia.
We ask multiple questions about your child’s medical history and the family history; and we perform multiple blood tests to see if your child has any of these disorders.
Why is it important to know whether or not my child has a bleeding disorder?
Untreated bleeding disorders can lead to dangerous bleeding during dental work, minor surgery, and injury. These disorders also can lead to anemia (low iron levels in the blood that can cause fatigue).
The different types of bleeding disorders are managed differently. Even if your child does not have frequent symptoms of a bleeding disorder, you need to know a diagnosis in case your child has an accident or needs to have a surgery.
Why do we have to come back so often? Why does it take so many tests to get an answer?
We diagnose bleeding disorders based on bleeding history, bleeding symptoms, family history, and multiple lab tests.
Bleeding disorders can be hard to pinpoint. It can take multiple blood tests and several clinic visits to get a definite answer. Some of the blood tests can be affected by medicines, illness, stress, or hormones. For this reason, we may have to repeat the same test more than one (1) time to get the correct results. We may have you come back to the clinic to have more tests done based on the results we get from earlier tests. Please answer our questions completely to help us narrow down the search for a specific diagnosis.
When can you tell me what the problem is?
We get the results of some lab tests right away but many of the tests have to be sent to an outside lab. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to get the results. When we get the lab results, we may call you or have you come for another clinic visit to discuss the results. We thank you for your patience with this process. We want to provide the best care possible for your child and that can take time.
What will it mean if my child has a bleeding disorder?
If your child has a bleeding disorder he will need to have regular visits with a hematologist (a doctor that specializes in blood disorders). Here at St. Jude we usually have patients come for clinic visits one (1) or 2 times each a year. If there are problems, you may need to come more often. People with bleeding disorders can live normal lives in most cases, but they have to take a few extra precautions. If your child has a bleeding disorder, we will work closely with you to answer all your questions about how to manage and treat the disorder.
If you have any questions or concerns about bleeding disorders or the Bleeding Disorders Clinic, call 901-595-5041. If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call 901-595-5023. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833). After the call connects, dial the last four digits of the number you would like to reach.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
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