Travel and the dialysis patient
Having a chronic illness need not preclude you from being able to enjoy a holiday.
Many organisations exist to help facilitate the ability of the dialysis patient to travel, and your dialysis unit staff should be able to help you organise your dialysis travel.
There are some factors which should be taken into account when travelling on dialysis:
- Know in advance what costs are involved in dialysing in another country, and get them in writing
- Know what you need to take with you - do you need your own EPO, anti-coagulation, dialyser, lines?
- Find out what is expected of you - wil you need to set up the machine yourself? Will you need to insert your own needles?
- Ensure that the dialysis clinic which you are travelling to has a written copy of your treatment plan (blood flows, needle sizes, which potassium and sodium baths you use etc) before you arrive.
- Make sure you carry a detailed, written copy of your medical history and medical requirements.
- Ensure that your travel insurance will cover you in the event of unforseen illness related to your kidney disease whilst overseas.
- Ensure that you take enough medications, including some extra in the case of unforseen circumstances.
- Ensure that you have a doctors letter explaining what your medications are, and what they are for. This may be required by customs.
If you follow these simple guidelines, your dialysis travel can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.