The challenges of the homeless haemophilia patient

Authors


Correspondence: Angela Lambing, Hematology/Oncology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA.

Tel.: +313 916 9094; fax: +313 916 9047;

e-mail: alambin1@hfhs.org

Summary

The current economic hardships within the United States can increase the risk of persons becoming homeless. In 2001, it was estimated that between 0.1% and 2.1% of the population were homeless every night and that 2.3 – 3.5 million persons could become homeless every year [1]. Many issues can increase the risk of homelessness including: home foreclosure, declining work force due to declining wages, low-wage opportunities and less secure jobs, decline in public assistance, lack of affordable housing with limited housing assistance programs, poverty, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness, and addiction disorders. Many on the streets may suffer from mental illness, developmental disabilities, and or chronic physical illness [6]. Given these issues, the Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) can expect to experience the issue of homelessness within their own population of persons with hemophilia. Currently, there are no studies that address the issue of the person with hemophilia who may become homeless. This presents unique challenges that this population may encounter to survive in addition to managing bleeding issues related to the diagnosis of hemophilia. This article will review the issues related to homelessness in the general population. Two case studies of persons with hemophilia who became homeless will be discussed outlining the strategies utilized to assist the patient during this crisis.

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