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Tips for traveling with bleeding disorders

Traveling can be exciting, but it also presents certain challenges for those with hemophilia, whether on a business trip or a family vacation. There are a few extra precautions you need to take, but with a little advance preparation, traveling can be as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Medical paperwork and documents.

Keep important medical papers together so they can be easily retrieved if needed. Use a folder or envelope to store these items and keep it with you in a safe place. Be sure to take the following when you travel:

  • A letter from your doctor or Bleeding Disorders Treatment Center (BDTC) in case airport screeners ask for it or if you seek treatment from a hospital or BDTC. The letter should explain your condition, the need to use factor and the appropriate infusion supplies you need when you travel
  • Copies of your prescriptions and prescription labels for all your medications (factor, saline, etc.) in case you need to have them refilled while traveling
  • Copy of insurance/Medicaid/Medicare cards
  • A list of hospitals and care centers near your destination
  • If traveling by car, a “Child with a Bleeding Disorder on Board” sign for your visor or child’s car seat (available through your CVS Specialty Bleeding Disorders CareTeam)
  • Instructions on where factor is located in your luggage
  • If traveling to a foreign country, a phrase book with common medical phrases in the local language

When traveling to a foreign country, it is a good idea to have your doctor/BDTC translate a letter describing your condition into the appropriate language. You may also want to have your BDTC contact the treatment center near your destination to let them know you will be in the area.

Remember: You should take along factor and supplies even on a day trip.

Check it twice.

When you pack for your trip, make a list and check it twice. Double checking will help decrease your chances of forgetting essential items for your trip, and it will help you feel better prepared. Besides the above items, your medical checklist should include the following:

  • Factor (in a cooler or cooler bag with ice packs)
  • Infusion supplies, including extras
  • Antiseptic wipes and antibacterial hand wash
  • A medical ID bracelet
  • An “in case of emergency” contact number in your cell phone under “ICE”
  • If you are traveling in warm weather or to a warm climate, remember to include:
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen (at least SPF 30 for adults and children)
    • A hat or visor

Keep it cool.

Keep factor and supplies in a cooler or portable cooler bag with ice packs. Do not freeze your factor. Consult the CVS Specialty Bleeding Disorders CareTeam or the manufacturer for packing directions. If traveling by air, take your cooler with you as a carry-on.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.

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