As nurses, it's our job to answer questions. If you have a general question about traveling with a particular health challenge or concern, please contact us and we'll post our answer on this page of our site.
If you're traveling with a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator, here's what we suggest:
- Six months before traveling outside the U.S., have your pacemaker checked, using manufacturer's guidelines.
- On your trip make sure you carry your pacemaker ID card which has pertinent information about your device such as the type of pacemaker and leads, who manufactured it, date of implant, paced rate, model number, serial number, your blood type, your doctor's contact information and your home contact information.
Here's a link to the American Heart Association web site where you can print out a copy of the Pacemaker Identification Card, in case you don't already have one.
- If possible, identify the names of cardiologists in your destination city who can help if needed.
- Wear medical jewelry that says you have a pacemaker or implanted defibrillating device.
- Traveling through airports should not be a problem. Carry your ID card and let security know you have a pacemaker. The wand should not affect your pacemaker. For more information please visit www.americanheartassociation.com.
Millions of people travel all over the world with diabetes. While it does take a little more preparation, and the ability to figure out your medication schedule as you travel through time zones, your extra effort will pay off as you find yourself enjoying your vacation or business trip.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Diabetes Education Program has a very useful PDF entitled "Have Diabetes, Will Travel." You can down load it here: http://ndep.nih.gov/diabetes/pubs/Diabetes_travel_article.pdf
You shouldn't, as long as it's in a prescription bottle with your name on it. It's wise, however, to get and carry with you copies of all your prescriptions, including the generic names for medications. You can ask your prescribing physician to provide this for you on her or his letterhead stationary, if your prescription drug is an controlled substance.
The CDC is an excellent source for this information. Their website is www.cdc.gov.
I've heard that you can get blood clots from sitting on a plane for extended trips. How can I avoid this problem?
Blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis in your legs, can occur with prolonged sitting in airplanes, cars, buses or trains.
Check with your doctor if you are concerned about your risk.
Move around as much as possible, especially after sitting for 3 to 4 hours. If walking around isn?t possible, you can:
- Pump your feet, like you are pushing on a gas pedal
- Draw the alphabet with your feet
- Do ankle circles
- Quantas Airlines has a great section on their Web site about DVT prevention.
You can avoid disaster if before your trip you scan or record your:
Passport (front and back)
Traveler check numbers
Phone numbers and addresses you may need in your travels (including contact info for the credit card companies).
Designate a friend or family member at home as a contact
Send this information to an email account that you can access worldwide, like Yahoo, Google's Gmail, or Hotmail.
If you lose your passport, you can go to the nearest American Embassy, get on-line access to your email, print it out and the government has a starting point to help you recover or replace this vital travel document. In the case of other documentation, having access to account numbers or contact info, will be useful as you continue your journey.
More information is available on the Fodors Web site.
Our advice? Keep everything you need in one place, like the back zipper compartment of our travel bag and then keep the travel bag with you at all times.
- Take medications for the days you'll be gone, plus 3 days just in case.
- If you will be gone for 2 or more weeks, take an extra week with you.
- Gone for extended periods of time? Find out where your pharmacy is available in the USA, or how they can help you.
- Remember to include those "occasional" meds you take for: <ulclass="c">
- Bladder infections
You may want to add . . .
Antibacterial soap and gloves for cleaning wounds
Wound dressing kit
Headache and muscle ache remedies that you know work for you
Motion sickness meds
Meds for allergic reactions
Mole skin for blisters
Rash ointments or lotions
Potential items to think about . . .
1-800 calling card
Local hospital nurse call telephone number
How do you reach your local doctor after hours?