Physiotherapy and the Bleeding Disorders Program

Comprehensive care is the foundation of medical care provided to patients in the Southwestern Ontario Bleeding Disorders Program. Our medical team is an interdisciplinary team, which works closely together to meet the needs of our patients. As you are aware, I am the physiotherapist who provides coverage to both adult and pediatric patients in our clinic.

I am employed by Thames Valley Children’s Centre (TVCC), the regional children’s treatment centre, and am contracted one day per week to provide physiotherapy care to our patient group. (TVCC is contracted by the London Health Sciences Centre to provide all of its pediatric therapy services.) This dedicated time allows me to attend weekly clinics, participate in workshops and conferences, consult with patients and colleagues outside of regular clinic times, participate in Pinecrest Adventure camp, engage in research activities, provide educational opportunities for patients and their families and for medical colleagues, participate in ongoing learning activities, and participate in the national Physiotherapists in Hemophilia Care group.

In my role as clinic physiotherapist, I provide musculoskeletal assessment to patients at their regularly scheduled clinic appointments, as well as developmental assessments to our pediatric patients. I am also available for consultation around traumatic bleeding episodes; and frequently provide ongoing follow up and treatment advice to patients in the acute phase of a bleed.

Patients requiring ongoing physical rehabilitation following a major bleeding episode, injury, or surgery, are referred to community-based physiotherapists for their follow up care. In London, we are able to access the publicly funded outpatient physiotherapy clinic at the University Hospital campus of the London Health Sciences Centre. (There is no outpatient physiotherapy department located at the Victoria Hospital campus, which is the location of the Bleeding Disorders Program office.) Access to publicly funded physiotherapy clinics located at hospitals is variable across our region – not all hospitals in southwestern Ontario offer out patient physiotherapy.

Patients may also access private physiotherapy clinics in their communities for physical rehabilitation. Physiotherapy services at these clinics are usually covered by extended health benefit plans. SWOR is also willing to assist patients with necessary out of pocket medical expenses, including physiotherapy treatments, to a maximum of three hundred dollars per year.

In extremely acute situations, we are able to refer patients to in home physiotherapy services through the local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). These services are typically very short term; and are only available to patients who are physically unable to attend at an outpatient physiotherapy clinic.

I am always willing and available to consult with community-based physiotherapists regarding the needs and concerns of our patients with bleeding disorders. Most physiotherapists have had limited exposure to any bleeding disorder; without exception every one I have spoken with over the years has been very receptive to the information I am able to provide.

Although I am not physically present in the clinic office on a daily basis, I try to be responsive to voice and email messages as quickly as possible. Please feel free to contact me at 519-685-8700, ext. 50145, or maryjane.steele@tvcc.on.ca

Mary Jane Steele, PT

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Last Updated March 16, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada