Balance Dysfunction and Falls Risks

The Impact and Implications of Falls and Balance Dysfunctions in Bleeding Disorder Patients

 NHF 2015 (Dallas, August 13-15) Falls are a particular risk in patients with bleeding disorders. As discussed during a session at the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) 2015 Annual Meeting, some of the factors that predict whether a person will fall include: age, a history of falls, difficulties with vision, arthritis, medications, walking and balance disorders and leg muscle weakness. Studies show that muscle weakness is the most important risk factor.  Since people with hemophilia are gradually entering the 65 and over age group, it is very important to be screened for fall risks and to be educated on preventing falls. Identifying a fall risk early will allow for proper education therefore preventing injury and the fear of exercising which are linked to falls. Common screening tools include fall history, fear of falling and more. There are currently no standard screening measures in the hemophilia community thus; additional research is needed to develop standards for fall screenings in the hemophilia community.