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Living with

There are a number of things you can do to help you stay as healthy as possible if you have thalassaemia.

Healthy lifestyle

To help reduce your chances of developing some of the problems associated with thalassaemia, it's a good idea to:

Make sure you take your medicine as advised and attend all of your check-ups.

Pregnancy and contraception

Women with thalassaemia major or other severe types can have a healthy pregnancy, but it's a good idea to speak to your care team for advice first because:

If you're not planning a pregnancy, use a reliable form of contraception.

Precautions before you have surgery

It's important to let your healthcare team know if you need to have an operation under general anaesthetic at any point.

You should also tell your surgeon that you have thalassaemia.

This is because general anaesthetic can cause problems such as an increased risk of blood clots for people with thalassaemia.

You may need close monitoring during surgery and a blood transfusion before or afterwards to reduce the risk of complications.

When to get medical advice

It's important to make sure you know when to get medical advice and where to go, as thalassaemia can cause a number of serious problems that can appear suddenly.

Symptoms to look out for include:

Contact your GP or healthcare team immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.

If this is not possible, go to your nearest A&E department

If you're not well enough to travel to hospital yourself, dial 999 for an ambulance.

Make sure the medical staff looking after you are aware that you have thalassaemia.