Treatment for haemophilia varies across the world so the best thing to do is make sure that you bring everything you need to manage your condition with you. This packing list should help you get ready for your big adventure:
- Medication and administration kits. Make sure you have enough clotting factor replacement therapy to last for the entire time that you expect to be away, as well as some additional supplies in case your return is delayed for any reason. You should also consider taking extra product in case you have a bleed, particularly if you might be participating in higher risk activities than normal. This is important as your treatment product may not be readily available in the country in which you are travelling.
The National Blood Authority may supply blood products for Australian residents temporarily overseas to a maximum of 12 months duration (in any rolling 24 month period). To access this service, you must fill out the appropriate Application Form “Request for approval of supply of blood or blood products for use overseas” at least three months prior to the date of travel. Ask your Haemophilia Treatment Centre for further information or visit the National Blood Authority website.
- A cooler bag to carry your medication. Clotting factor replacement therapy is temperature sensitive so you should carry your medication in a cooler bag when travelling. You should always take this with you on board the plane in the cabin section so you can ensure that it does not get lost or damaged.
- A list of hospitals and Haemophilia Treatment Centres along your travel route. You may want to contact these in advance to enquire about the availability of treatment products and medical expenses that may be incurred for treatment. For a list of Haemophilia Treatment Centres around the world, visit the Word Federation of Haemophilia website.
- Your Travel Letter. This will enable airport security officials to verify that your carry-on items are allowed on board and can be provided to any physicians you may need to see while travelling.
- Health insurance information. You will need to keep these details handy in case you require any unexpected medical treatment while travelling.
- A medical alert emblem or ID. This will help ensure that your condition is known to others in case of an emergency where you cannot communicate these details yourself. This is particularly important if you are travelling alone.
- A friend or travel partner! Travelling with others can be fun and, more importantly, your travel companion can help you if you need it during your trip. Make sure they understand about your condition and how it is treated.
Remember to pack the required amount of the following items in your carry-on bag:
- Reconstitution device
- Alcohol and cotton pads
- Sharps containers
- Adhesive bandages
- Surgical gloves
Most importantly, make sure you let your Haemophilia Treatment Centre know if you are planning a trip so they can give you tips for packing everything you may need.