After helping young men with mild hemophilia recover from thigh injuries which kept them off work for close to a year, physiotherapists with the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Bleeding Disorders Programs, JoAnn Nilson and Kathy Mulder, wanted to find a way to help similar clients easily access important information about their condition.
A multidisciplinary team from the Saskatoon Health Region, Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, University of Saskatchewan and MITACS have developed an app called HIRT? – Hemophilia Injury Recognition Tool
- that will provide assistance in identifying an injury needing medical attention. It will also facilitate contact to a Hemophilia Treatment Centre.
The app describes symptoms of bleeding, explains first aid management, and provides an alarm to remind the person to reassess their symptoms until the risk of re-bleeding is over. HIRT? also instructs the user when to seek medical care and contains the contact information for the closest Hemophilia Treatment Centre.
The app is now available in French and English. It can be downloaded for free from the Google and Apple stores and information is available through http://www.hemopilia.ca/.
Affecting only men, Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which blood does not clot properly. People with milder forms of the disease do not experience frequent bleeding problems, and may not recognize symptoms of a more severe injury.
"There is a gap for these young men in getting the information they need to help them identify whether they are dealing with a minor injury or one that could result in a major bleed, and how to proceed," explains Nilson. "These young men did not want another booklet. They wanted an app so they would have the tools they needed at their fingertips. "
"The term 'mild' hemophilia can be misleading. The long term repercussions that can result from a poorly managed bleed can be very severe and disabling," says Mulder. "Working with this particular group of patients can be very challenging. I am excited to see the app available for them to use."