In addition to the prevention of bleeding episodes, the introduction of self-infusion of coagulation factors in the late 1960s and early 1970s allowed patients with haemophilia to travel relying less on their physician or treatment centre and with greater safety while travelling. New haemophilia treatment options prevent physical disability and increase the mobility of haemophilia patients by allowing them to become full members of our mobile society, with an increasing desire to travel the world just like healthy individuals.
But what is the relationship between haemophilia and travel?
One study looked at the travel behaviour of patients with haemophilia A or B. The vast majority of people with haemophilia (about 98%) have travelled at least once since receiving their diagnosis. In addition, about 60% travel more than once a year (“frequent travellers”) and 37% travel outside of Europe (“long-haul travellers”).
Among the variables specific to haemophilia, self-infusion of coagulation factors is the most important for an increased likelihood of long-haul travel. While among patients aged 17 years and younger, not being on permanent prophylactic treatment is associated with an increased likelihood of long-haul travel .
Other variables tested, including severity of haemophilia when compared between severe and moderate/mild, do not, however, appear to have any influence on the travel behaviour of adult haemophilia patients.
- Juergen Ringwald, Pamela Rudolph, Melanie Biner, Cornelia Fießler, Andreas Mayr, Martin Lohmann, Julian Strobel, Reinhold Eckstein, Karin Kurnik, Travel behaviour of patients with haemophilia, Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease (2013) 11, 159e165, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2013.03.008