Preparing for your travels

Even if you haven’t had a bleed for years, being prepared when you travel can help ensure that your trip is memorable for all the right reasons. Here are some tips on what you should do to plan a successful trip:

  • Make sure you know how to manage your haemophilia independently. Once you are away from home, you won’t have your usual support networks to help you manage your condition. This means making sure you know how to reconstitute your medication and give yourself infusions. You also need to know exactly how much medication to inject if you take regular infusions, and how much extra medication you might need to administer if you have a bleed. Finally, you will need to know what to do if you have a bleed that persists after treatment.
  • Arrange for your Haemophilia Treatment Centre to provide you with a Travel Letter. This is a letter from your physician outlining your bleeding disorder, how this is managed and the contact details of your Haemophilia Treatment Centre in the event of an emergency. Your Travel Letter can be provided to any physicians you may need to see while travelling and will also enable airport security officials to verify that your medication and administration kit are allowed on board. You may also want to get this letter translated into the language of the country you are travelling to if English is not widely spoken.
  • Contact your airline ahead of time. This way you can notify them that you will be bringing your medication and administration kit on board with you. They will let you know whether they have any specific regulations that you need to follow.
  • Contact the consulate of the country where you will be travelling. This way you can check if they have any special requirements for carrying medications and administration kits through their border control. For example, specific documentation or permits may be required when taking medications into some countries.
  • Arrange health insurance. This is an absolute necessity when travelling overseas, regardless of whether the Australian Government has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with the country you are travelling to. It is important to ensure that you declare all pre-existing conditions when applying for travel insurance and you may like to consider adding Evacuation Cover. There are a number of companies who provide travel insurance for people with pre-existing conditions such as haemophilia. For more information on travel insurance in general, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/insurance.html. For information on specific policies, you can search online or speak to your Haemophilia Treatment Centre.
  • Arrange for any necessary immunisations. Your Haemophilia Treatment Centre should be able to tell you what immunisations are required when traveling to different regions of the world. You can also visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/tips/health.html for further information.

If you are getting ready to go off and see the world, or just take a trip up the coast, make sure you let your Haemophilia Treatment Centre know well in advance. They can assist you in making all the necessary preparations to help ensure that you have as safe a trip as possible.

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