Bleeding Disorders on Remembrance Day

Poppyscotland is the leading charity supporting ex-Servicemen and women and their families in Scotland.

Poppyscotland is the leading charity supporting ex-Servicemen and women and their families in Scotland.

Ever since bleeding disorders were first recognised by medicine it has been extremely unusual for people with a bleeding disorder to serve in the armed services. To this day having a bleeding disorder is usually a bar to military service. During World War I and World War II people with bleeding disorders were not typically accepted into the military.  Fresh Frozen Plasma treatments were not introduced until well into the 1950s which meant during both world wars treatment for bleeding disorders was limited to bed rest and blood transfusions.

Thanks to the presence of Haemophilia in the descendants of Queen Victoria, we are aware of a few possible cases of people with bleeding disorders who lost their live as a result of the wars (below).  However, on remembrance day we keep in our minds all those who have lost their lives serving in the armed forces.  In particular those who, during World War II, contributed to a greater understanding of bleeding and clotting which later helped in the development of clotting factor products..

Prince Waldemar of Prussia
On the 2nd of May 1945 the Prince died when he was unable to receive a blood transfusion to treat his Haemophilia.  The US Army had just captured the part of Germany which included his clinic and had urgently reassigned all medical supplies in the area to treat people in liberated concentration camps.

Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Born in Balmoral, Scotland, the Prince was the youngest Grandson of Queen Victoria and his mother, Princess Beatrice, carried the Haemophilia gene.  There has been some speculation, never confirmed, that the Prince had Haemophilia himself.  He served with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps in World War I and was killed at Ypes in 1914 aged 23.

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