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Hemophilia Factsheet (for Schools)

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

What Teachers Should Know

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. People with hemophilia may bruise and bleed easily, and they may bleed a lot or for a long time after an injury. Bleeding can occur anywhere in the body, including in the joints, muscles, brain, or digestive tract. Some people have mild hemophilia, some moderate, and some more severe.

Students with hemophilia may:

  • need to go to the school nurse for medicines or to check bruises, cuts, or bleeding
  • miss class time and assignments due to doctor visits
  • have a port implanted in their chest for infusions
  • wear a helmet and other protective equipment
  • need changes to the classroom environment
  • feel embarrassed or overwhelmed about their medical condition

What Teachers Can Do

Any injury to a student with hemophilia, especially to the head, should be treated as an emergency — get medical help right away. Make sure your students with hemophilia have individualized care plans, and be ready to respond as explained in the plan.

Let assignments and class work be made up at home in cases of absences or missed class time. In some cases, homebound instruction or tutoring might be appropriate.

Exercise is important for kids and teens with hemophilia because it makes their muscles stronger, which protects the joints. Contact sports are not safe, but students can do a variety of other activities. Talk to parents about which physical activities are OK and which are off limits.

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2021