Sharon Caris is Executive Director, Haemophilia Foundation Australia
Travelling is a wonderful opportunity for seeing new places and adventure but it can be much more enjoyable if you are prepared for all eventualities..
If you are going interstate or overseas for holidays you need to be organised to be sure you have arrangements in place. Don’t forget to start your planning early with your Haemophilia Centre to ensure you have sufficient clotting factor and equipment, other medicines and letters from your doctor to take with you. If you are going overseas make sure you have the necessary medical, customs and quarantine documents for your treatment product and equipment, both for leaving and returning to Australia and for entering the countries you are visiting. Even if you are in transit through a country, remember there may be documentation requirements to carry your clotting factor, needles and other medicines through security/quarantine/customs at airports.
Make sure you select carefully where you will travel, especially if you might need medical assistance. Check whether there is expertise in the care and treatment of people with bleeding disorders in the places you are visiting, and how you would access these services. Be aware that treatment may be limited, unavailable or unaffordable in many countries. Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance and a plan in the event that you have a bleed or have an accident. And contact where you will be staying to find out if you will have access to a refrigerator (so you can keep your medication cold).
If you have been issued with additional supplies of clotting factor for your trip, make sure you take care of it when you are travelling and that you bring any remaining product home with you – you will not be issued with more product on your return if you took larger quantities than your usual supply for that period away with you.
Make sure you contact your Haemophilia Centre staff well in advance so they can help you with your travel plans – especially for ordering supplies of clotting factor and the necessary documentation required during your travel. HFA can also provide more information about your planning for overseas travel.
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