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What to Do Before, During, and After the HTC Visit

What to Do Before the HTC Visit

It may be helpful to explain to your child the reason for his or her Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) visit, as it may help your child get ready and be more comfortable.

Here are some other suggestions to help your child prepare for an appointment:

  • Encourage your child to keep a treatment journal. Treatment journals are used to record the following information:
    • When a bleed happened.
    • What the person was doing when it happened.
    • The signs that the individual was having a bleed.
    • The type of treatment needed to stop the bleed.
    • If preferred, many mobile phone apps are available for journal keeping.
  • Bring the treatment journal to the appointment.
    • A good record of bleeding episodes often helps the medical team and the individual with the bleeding disorder see how well  treatment is working. If needed, the treatment can be adjusted.
  • Encourage your child to write down any questions and important information for the health care team.
  • Suggest that your child bring a favorite book to read or game to play between appointments at the HTC.
  • Help your son or daughter stay positive. Remind him or her that coming to the doctor and getting treatments and checkups regularly are ways to help stay healthy.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing can ease anxiety or nervousness about the appointment.

What to Do During the HTC Visit

Involve your child in discussions with the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) team about his or her treatment plan. Your child and the HTC team should review the therapy that is best for him or her at this time. They should discuss on-demand or prophylactic therapy, as well as switching from a central venous access device (or CVAD) to venipuncture, if applicable.

Here are some things for you to keep in mind during the visit:

  • Bring the treatment journal to the appointment.
  • Take notes.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions, particularly those he or she wrote down in the treatment journal. If your child is nervous, he or she can just show the staff the questions.
  • Encourage your child to tell the health care team how he or she is feeling both physically and emotionally. You can offer to leave the room so that your child can spend time alone with his or her health care provider. Likewise, the hemophilia team may want to ask your child some questions without you or another caregiver in the room.
  • Be certain your child understands the information discussed during the visit. Remind your son or daughter that he or she can ask the health care provider to explain any information, including medical terms, that is not clear.
  • If your child—or you—want, ask to have information and any instructions written down.
  • Encourage your child to ask for other sources of information, such as brochures, websites, and HTC or local hemophilia chapter events.

What to Do After the HTC Visit

  • Encourage your child to write down any other questions that were not addressed. These questions can be asked at the next appointment. Of course, if the question is urgent, call the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) nurse.
  • Help your child research the information that the health care team gave. This will increase understanding of the bleeding disorder and any instructions given.
    • Your son or daughter can find a lot of good information right here on Steps for Living.