Traveling With a Bleeding Disorder
A bleeding disorder should not keep you or your child from life’s obligations or the activities you enjoy. This includes travel. The good news is that people with bleeding disorders can travel anywhere, anytime.
Following a few simple tips can help make travel safer, less stressful, and much more enjoyable
- Pack essential items in a carry-on bag to make sure it stays with you in case your checked baggage gets delayed or lost. These items should include:
- Factor (which should never be packed in checked luggage because changes in temperature could affect its potency)
- Reconstitution device
- Alcohol and cotton pads
- Sharps containers
- Before traveling, get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of treatment centers along the route. A list of treatment centers can be obtained from the Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorder Comprehensive Care Program. There are also Web resources that provide locations of treatment centers.
- Make sure you or your family member’s medical ID bracelet is up to date. If you or your family member self-infuses desmopressin or factor concentrates, you may want to bring more than enough for the whole trip. Before you go, also check that you have all the supplies you need, such as those listed above.
- If you do not self-infuse, ask your healthcare professional if you can carry a supply of desmopressin or factor concentrate with you. If you are not able to carry these products with you, find out where they are available before you leave. These products are not available everywhere.
- If you can, bring a cooler to keep your products at the appropriate temperature.
- You might also want to find out if your insurance coverage applies in the province or country you are visiting. If not, take out special travel insurance.
Pack all of your up-to-date medical paperwork, including:
- Your bleeding disorder diagnosis
- The prescription for your medication (desmopressin, factor concentrates, or other medication)
- The name and phone number of your healthcare professional and/or the treatment center that you visit most often
- If you are traveling outside the United States, the above papers could be useful if customs officials ask about the drugs, needles, and syringes you are carrying.
All of these tips will help to ensure you have a safe trip. Enjoy!
Airline Safety Regulations
Airport security measures can cause stress for people with bleeding disorders and their families. When traveling with clotting factor, bring a prescription from your healthcare provider, as well as a letter from the healthcare provider or HTC providing a brief explanation of your condition and the need for this medication.
When you bring needles onto an airplane in your hand luggage, you must have the clotting factor with you as well.
Check with your airline at least 2 days prior to departure to learn specific regulations. For more information, please visit the TSA.gov site.