There have been ‘tremendous improvements' in haemophilia treatments in recent years, the Irish Haemophilia Society has said.
The society, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has paid tribute to its members who did not survive to enjoy the better levels of care and treatment available today.
"We now have a purpose built National Coagulation Centre in St. James's Hospital, a state of the art inpatient unit and an impressive clinical trial unit, which has assisted us by having the facilities to carry out and access clinical trials for new therapies, which in turn, helps Ireland to remain at the forefront of haemophilia treatment innovation," explained the society's CEO, Brian O'Mahony.
There are also comprehensive haemophilia centres at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin and in Cork University Hospital.
"The move to world class haemophilia care and the development of a very strong, effective and empathetic Irish Haemophilia Society is the best possible memorial to all of our members who did not survive to see this bright new dawn for haemophilia care," Mr O'Mahony said.
Haemophilia is a genetic blood disorder, which results in a defect in the clotting mechanism of the blood. Around one in every 5,500 people in Ireland is affected. Signs of the condition include large bruises, spontaneous bleeding and bleeding for a long time after a cut or surgery.
The society was founded in 1958 and since then, it has supported patients and fought for improvements in care and treatment.
As part of the 50th celebrations, a specially commissioned piece of street artwork was recently unveiled in Dublin. The artwork aimed to reflect the personal experiences of patients and nurses from St James's Hospital who have been affected by this condition.
It also aims to represent connections between the haemophilia community, moving towards a brighter future, and completing the domino effect of the blood clotting process.
The artwork, which was commissioned by the society in partnership with Roche, was developed by artist Shane O'Malley, and is also now displayed as a canvas at St James's Hospital in recognition of those it represents. A video that tells the story of its creation can be viewed here
For more information on the Irish Haemophilia Society, click here
*Pictured is artist Shane O'Malley with Seamus McDonald and John Stack from the Irish Haemophilia Society
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