Therefore, when it is a chronic disease that requires care for the rest of the life, such as the case of major thalassemia, for example, the importance of the support of a multiprofessional team is even more evident. Check below the experts who, throughout life, in partnership with the reliable hematologist, shall monitor the patient who makes periodical blood transfusions and chelating therapy:
- Optometrist and otorhinolaryngologist: usage of the chelating agents to eliminate the excess iron from the organism may affect the visual and hearing accuracy.
- Cardiologist: the heart is one of the favorite goals of the iron and is usually overloaded. Despite the existence of a chelating agent that, by certification, has an efficient action against accumulation of mineral in the cardiac muscle, the cardiopathies – cardiac insufficiency and pulmonary hypertension by thrombosis – continue in the first place of the ranking among the death causes of people with thalassemia.
- Infection Expert: to discard the possible blood infections, after the transfusions, by infection agents and virus that cause diseases transmitted by the blood, such as hepatitis B or C, HIV, barber bug fever.
- Endocrinologist: the iron overload may directly or indirectly affect production of some hormones, leaving the organism unbalanced and providing development of some diseases, such as hypothyroidism (a disturbance in the thyroid) and diabetes mellitus (diabetes type 2).
- Gynecologist and Urologist: because thalassemia may retard puberty and sexual development.
- Orthopedist: in case of growth delay and also to control the risks of fragile bones, thinner and the tendency to osteoporosis.
- Psychologist: to help people with thalassemia to deal with the invasive treatment, the side effects, possible prejudices and the fact that the disease is chronic and needs care for the rest of the life.
- Social assistant and even lawyer: to assure rights assured by law and that may not be complied with, with that, hindering the treatment evolution.
- Nurses: to assure the blood transfusion process is being done with efficacy and safety to the person with thalassemia.
- Odontology: As any other person, those who have thalassemia should receive a great dental treatment. Their dental follow-up should begin in the early ages, preferably in the first year of life of the child. With that, the person will never have caries and will see the dentist as his/her friend and the person who takes care of his/her teeth.
The person with thalassemia has characteristics of oral respirator (buccal), with jaw atresia, maxilla expansion and muscles of the lips hypotonic. From the four years of age there's indication of mobile orthopedics device (functional) of the jaws, for correction of the anomalies of the oropharynx (stomatognathic anomalies), searching balance of the functions: breathing, swallowing, suction, chewing and phono articulation.
This treatment is muldisciplinary involving not only the dentist specialized in mobile orthopedics of the jaws, dental pediatrists, pediatrists, otorhinos, speech therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and social assistants.
With all these professionals around the person with thalassemia, we will provide an harmonious growth of his/her face, strong and healthy teeth and a better life quality.
Depending on the treatment center the patient is served, he/she has at his/her disposal physicians from all areas. Otherwise, associations such as ABRASTA may help him/her finding in his/her city the support and guidance he/she needs.