This is general disease awareness and should not be understood as medical advice. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or have questions, doubts or concerns, you should contact your doctor. Always follow the advice of local authorities.
Published 01 July 2020 | 3 min read
Spending the summer holiday far from home is admittedly less of an option in the summer of 2020. Which is not that surprising given that the coronavirus pandemic has forced the entire global population to rethink its approach to public spaces, travel and general health.
If you’re interested in what COVID-19 might mean for people with haemophilia, here’s a blog post all about that.
The fact is that, for reasons beyond anyone’s control, you might not be able to go very far this year. On the other hand, travel is travel regardless of your destination. By knowing how to do it safely, you expand your realm of possible destinations and possibilities.
This blog post is about how, with preparation and planning, you can anticipate many of the challenges of the road and thereby enjoy yourself more upon arrival.
There are a number of things you should know and consider before your stay in another country or region. The more research you do beforehand, the freer you are to go and enjoy different cultures and the company of the people you meet there.
Research might be focussed on
If your research reveals that local products and medicines differ – in price or effectiveness, say – here’s the obvious tip: Bring more than sufficient quantities of medicine for your entire trip.
This way you are also safe – or more safe – in countries where supplies are limited or HCPs are reluctant to give products reserved for their own patients to travellers.2
By taking two things with you – a reasonable amount of local currency and medical insurance papers in English or local language – you are maximally protected in countries where healthcare is only available to those who can pay up front or prove that their insurance company will foot the medical bill.
One more thing: Because the financial side of requiring medical attention and/or medicine in another country can be overwhelming, being properly insured really does make a crucial difference. It can allow you to put a bleeding episode behind you relatively quickly rather than risk incurring high medical expenses at a local hospital or HTC.
It’s always good to go on the road with a friend, family member or other travel companion. If the unexpected happens, you’ll be twice as likely to think of a great way to resolve the issue.
Whether you travel alone or with company, however, you need to be
able to communicate your medical needs clearly and easily to
strangers. To that end, here are a few items you should always
Consider carrying two letter versions: one in English and one in the local language.
Some brands require being kept in a cooler bag while others can be stored at room temperature; heat is to be avoided always.4
Therefore, study all product inserts carefully so you can ensure an optimal environment for your factor bottles, whether in transit or upon arrival. If you are participating in a clinical trial make sure you have enough reserve for emergency use. Otherwise your trial period might end up being futile.
And while medicine and medical supplies are, in principle, exempt from airline baggage restrictions, make sure to bring a letter stating that medicine in your carry-on luggage is for your personal use and that security officials are not to open any vials while checking them. Everything you carry should be in its original packaging.5
Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with the general terms and conditions of your airline company so you know what to expect on your flight.6
One important note on flying with medicine or devices: Never check factor and infusion supplies through as luggage. Why? Because it could be lost or get too hot. By packing them in your carry-on luggage you always have control over them.7
The risk of minor accidents – from bumps, knocks and bruises to cuts and scratches – goes up as we leave our comfort zones. To safeguard yourself from mishaps on your journey or holiday, never leave your accommodation without taking a first-aid kit with you.
If relevant to your personal situation, remember to bring such things as orthotics or straps, as well.
If you do run into a slow bleed, the section on PRICE in this blog post may very well come in handy.
Don’t compromise on preparing for your trip. Being well prepared equips your future travelling self to stay on top of things – and have a safe and pleasant journey.
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