Are you a patient with kidney disease or a kidney transplant or a patient on dialysis thinking about travelling? Are you a business person wishing to travel for a meeting or are you interested in attending the wedding of a family member, or being with family for a ceremony like a graduation or simply want to get a break and go on a holiday?
Whether you are traveling within the country or traveling internationally, patients with kidney disease, on dialysis or with a kidney transplant can travel if they are stable. There are a few things you need to consider and plan for to remain safe, maintain your self-esteem and enjoy your life.
Advice No 1: Plan ahead and talk to your doctor early about your plans
Give yourself time to decide on your travel plans. Talk to your family and friends and doctor early. They will share ideas with you and if there are any special consideration your doctor can inform you in time and help make arrangements that may involve another doctor or center at your travel destination. If you are planning on travelling to multiple destinations, a plan for every destination is necessary so even more time is needed.
Advice No 2: Find and communicate with a doctor or center that can care for you at your destination.
Your doctor can help you find a dialysis center or kidney disease or transplant doctor that can care for you. Family and friends at your destination may be able to make a good recommendation for you and a search online for your options can help
The receiving doctor or center will need some basic information about your medical condition.
If you have kidney disease or have a kidney transplant, being armed with an updated report from your home doctor that outlines your medical issues and lists your recent medications and lab tests will be important.
If you are on dialysis, a medical report, your dialysis prescription, your medication lists and recent lab tests will be required. Depending on your doctors other information may be required. Put your doctors in touch with each other.
Advice No 3: Try and get some information for yourself on the quality of care offered by the doctor or center
The experience of the doctor in caring for patients with kidney disease or with a kidney transplant will be useful if you have any of these conditions.
If you are a dialysis patient, find out if the center you are going to be working with at your destination has experience with your kind of dialysis ie hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Also ask
- What is the cost of dialysis and is your insurance accepted at the destination center?
- Does the unit reuse dialysis filters or blood lines?
- How far is the unit from where you will be staying at your destination?
- Can they provide a convenient treatment time and treat you for the duration you need?
- What kind and size of dialyzer filters are used at the center?
- Can you get all the medications or supplies you usually use at your home center?
- If you fall ill and need to be hospitalized, where do you go? You may or may not need to investigate the hospital offered.
Advice No 4: If you are waiting to get a transplant, just let your doctors know.
They may have to make alternative plans that you should be aware of. You can then make a decision if you should travel or not.
Advice No 5: Diabetics need extra plans to be made.
If you are also diabetic, make plans to have adequate supply of insulin, medications and readily available sources of sugar if needed