Traveling while having chronic disease, on dialysis or had a kidney transplant

Let us talk about traveling with chronic disease. Let’s say you have diabetes. You should plan to make sure you have all your medicines while traveling. Find out where there is a nearest hospital close to where you will be located with your travel plans. 

What about traveling with oxygen? Again you need to plan ahead. If you travel on a plane, you need to contact your airlines to explore what are the policies about traveling while on oxygen. Consider the  altitude where you are traveling to. The higher up the altitude is where you are going the air is more difficult to breath and the amount of oxygen may change.

Now I am going to discuss traveling while on dialysis. If you travel while on peritoneal dialysis , one has to plan ahead. Traveling is often easier for peritoneal dialysis patients because they are not dependent on the availability of a dialysis unit. Peritoneal dialysis patients still need to plan ahead and arrange for back-up medical care for their trips, as do hemodialysis patients. Typically, this would mean contacting a dialysis center in the area where you will be and asking if they would be available should a problem arise. The center may request a copy of your medical records in advance. In any case, you should always carry a copy of your records with you as well.

Plan ahead by coordinating to either travel with all your PD equipment or ship the product to your destination. Your social worker can support you. Also you can contact the vendor where you get your PD supplize.

On the other hand, traveling with hemodialysis treatment has different struggles. Planning ahead 4 to 8 weeks is of primary importance if you are traveling more than 1 or 2 days. Do not miss your scheduled dialysis appointments.  You or your patient travel coordinator may need to contact more than one center in order to find a center that can provide dialysis for you. Check with the center as soon as you arrive to confirm your appointment. You may also want to visit the center and meet the staff so you will feel more comfortable. Before doing this, however, make an appointment with the social worker or nurse manager of the dialysis center you plan to visit.If you plan to visit friends or family out of town, they may be able to give you the name and address of the dialysis center nearest them. Resource publications are available at your center listing dialysis centers around the world that are willing to accept transient dialysis patients. Your social worker or the patient travel coordinator at your center will be able to assist you.

Plan ahead for emergencies. Bring all the necessary papers with you and a list of your medications along with your insurance information. Do not panic in the case of an emergency and ask for support.

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