If you are a dialysis patient, the ability to travel can be important for your motivation. Whether you are on in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis (HHD), peritoneal dialysis (PD) or in-center nocturnal dialysis, you can go on a vacation which will allow you to still get dialysis treatments either at a dialysis center or by bringing your dialysis equipment.  However, there are some rules to consider for the dialysis patients before making holiday plans.

 

What should I pay attention to before my vacation?

You have to plan your vacation in a way that does not delay your treatment.

  • Start planning your holiday at least 6-8 weeks in advance. More time can be needed for popular holiday dialysis locations. It is highly important to predetermine the hemodialysis units in the region and make a reservation for dialysis sessions for the relevant dates by contacting them. (Ask your doctor if there is a staff member who is experienced in arranging dialysis treatments for vacation. Ask your primary nurse to prepare the documents that you need for vacation.) 
  • Be flexible about the dates for your trip as space in dialysis units may be limited. If you need to have your treatments on specific days and at specific times, let the center know in advance.
  • Keep in mind that your regularly used medicines is with you and enough drugs should be taken for your trip.

What information does my transient dialysis center need to provide safe treatment for me?

Most dialysis centers require the following information in order to assess your health and plan for your treatments with them:

 

  • the dates you need dialysis treatment
  • your name, address, etc.
  • medical history and recent physical exam reports
  • recent lab results
  • recent EKG
  • recent chest x-ray
  • your dialysis prescription and 3 to 5 recent treatment records
  • dialysis access type
  • special needs or dialysis requirements
  • information about your general health
  • insurance information
  • where you will be staying in the area
  • a list of the medications you take during treatment and at home.

You should send these documents to the dialysis center that you are going to visit during your vacation. It is important for the doctor and transient center to know as much about you as possible in order to care for your needs while visiting their center. In addition to sending your records to the center, you should hand carry a copy with you. 

(https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/traveltip#:~:text=Yes%2C%20most%20patients%20who%20receive,the%20patient’s%20health%20is%20stable.)

What should I pay attention to during my vacation?

Especially during the summer holidays, In order to have a healthy holiday, you should pay attention to some issues.

  • You should continue obeying your diet and stay hydrated.                                      
  • Potassium-rich foods should be consumed carefully. It is important not to forget that  summer fruits include amply potassium.
  • If you go to the seaside, you shouldn’t stay in the sun at noon. 
  • You are allowed to swim if you don’t have other health problems. However, it is important for peritoneal dialysis patients to protect their exit site. After swimming, you should renew your exit site dressings.
  • In any case, have important phone numbers with you such as names of your regular doctor, dialysis center, etc.
  •  Have a copy of your medical records with you while traveling.
  • Make sure anyone who is traveling with you knows where you keep your records and what your medical needs are.

(https://www.tbv.com.tr/etkinlikler-haberler/tatile-gidecek-diyaliz-hastalarina-onemli-uyari/)

What if I need to travel in an emergency?

Many dialysis centers make every effort to accommodate patients in the event of an emergency such as illness or death of a family member. Dialysis records can be faxed ahead, or you can hand carry them with you.

Home Hemodialysis on a Trip

Patients who wish to continue their home treatment while traveling should check with their dialysis care team about whether they can continue home dialysis away from home.

You can travel with your machines, supplies and portable water treatment equipment. However, even if you do your own treatment, it is important to find the closest dialysis center where you could go for assistance. You should inform the center when you will be in the area, and ask if they would be willing to provide medical assistance. Send your complete medical information to the dialysis center and carry a copy with you. Remember that most dialysis and equipment companies have toll-free numbers for assistance 24 hours a day. For emergencies, have these numbers with you.

Peritoneal Dialysis on a Trip

As peritoneal dialysis patients are not dependent on the availability of a dialysis unit, traveling is often easier for them. However, peritoneal dialysis patients still need to plan ahead and arrange for back-up treatment for their trips, as do hemodialysis patients.

Contact a dialysis center in the area where you will be and ask if they would be available when a problem arises. The center may request a copy of your medical records in advance. In any case, you should always carry a copy of your records with you as well.

Vacationing abroad on dialysis

Chronic kidney disease affects many people around the world. Dialysis centers are located around the globe and if you have the funds and desire to plan this dream vacation, you can dialyze abroad. 

Don’t forget!

  • Pack an adequate amount of supplies and any necessary medications in a safe and easily accessible way.
  • Work with your dialysis supplier to have dialysate delivered to your destination.
  • Make a special first aid kit to carry with you that includes two days’ worth of essential supplies to help prepare for any unforeseen circumstances, such as a baggage delay when traveling by plane.
  • If traveling by air, make certain that your carry-on baggage meets security and airline regulation well in advance. (https://www.davita.com/education/ckd-life/travel/traveling-for-home-dialysis-patients )
  • Bring enough medications to last for your entire trip, with enough extra to deal with possible emergencies. Also carry written prescriptions just in case.
  • If you need extra assistance boarding a plane or train, inform personnel when you check in so they can give you special instructions.
  • If you are planning to travel by plane or train, make arrangements for any special meals such as low-salt, low-fat or diabetic, at the time you make your reservations.
  • When making a hotel reservation, you can request a first-floor room or a handicapped-accessible room, if stairs or distances are a problem.
  • If you use a travel agent, tell the agent about any special needs you may have, such as special meals, accessible rooms, and assistance while changing planes. The agent can also advise you about special considerations regarding safe transport of dialysis supplies while traveling to foreign countries.

https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/traveltip#:~:text=Yes%2C%20most%20patients%20who%20receive,the%20patient’s%20health%20is%20stable.