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Author Topic: trip out of country while on PD???  (Read 2742 times)
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« on: October 26, 2014, 08:51:27 PM »

My wife is Colombian and plans to visit her parents for about a month this Christmas/January. I would like to visit there for about a week around new years. She owns the house so we will be staying there, not at a hotel.

Has anybody traveled internationally with PD fluid and supplies? I think, based on my exchanges this summer, pre bypass surgery, and that I am back to urinating my full output that by January I will be back on my 2 exchanges/day. At most the 3/day I am doing now. So I am looking at traveling with 2 or 3 boxes. No more.

I am wondering if that would be an issue since I wouldn't want to have them shipped. I'm sure it would be expensive and based on all the times spent in latin America on boats you can't trust getting anything shipped on time as there is usually an issue with shipping itself, customs, or it actually getting to the destination once it clears.

Would I just arrive at the airport with the boxes along with my suitcase or would it be easier to just empty the boxes (put the individual bags) into an additional rolling suitcase so handling would be easier?

Would I need the DR to write something up stating that they are medical supplies? If so would I need it translated so I'd have no issues through customs when arriving in Colombia?

Also, does the catheter cause a problem when going through security? again, do I need a DR's slip?

Or are my international traveling days done and I should just stay home?

I'm trying to get this all figured out before I buy a plane ticket.

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When all else fails run in circles, shout loudly

« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 11:57:13 AM »

Ask your PD nurse, and you'll probably need a letter from your Dr. With HD the boxes, and machine are free.

With PD you can travel

Good luck

I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
Tío Riñon
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 02:08:04 PM »

Yes, I have traveled internationally with PD equipment.  Last year I visited Ecuador and I am presently working on a trip to Argentina in 2015.  From your previous posts, I see that you're a Baxter patient like me.  Normally you'd have a few choices for arranging to have solution delivered, but given their present problems, I agree with your plan to carry everything.

I recommend that you unpack your boxes and put everything in a separate suitcase.  It will make things easier for you to organize and track (plus be less bulky).  If you decide to check the suitcase containing your supplies, be sure to carry a separate emergency supply with you on your carry-on just in case there are delays or your bags get misdirected. 

From your nephrologist or nurse, get a Letter of Medical Necessity and a copy of your Kardex (which lists your prescription and other medical information).  Carry them with you along with your tickets, passport, and any medicines.  You will definitely be searched by TSA here and possibly questioned by customs in Colombia.  Also, coordinate with your US clinic for a back-up location in Colombia.  You'll want to know in advance where you can go for assistance since not all clinics and hospitals are familiar with and/or equipped for PD.

Ordinarily I would suggest that you place a travel order with Baxter for delivery in Colombia, but 1) they are having trouble fulfilling orders in the US as you know and 2) there are additional costs associated and given that you aren't staying long, it sounds like you'll have a manageable load.

When I went to Ecuador, I had to take a suitcase full of Extraneal, because it isn't available there, plus emergency supplies on the flight.  It was a hassle, but once I arrived, everything went pretty smoothly.

One thing that I have started doing recently is requesting pre-boarding due to my medical supplies so I can get a decent seat and location to store my bags on-board (use your letter as proof).  When you go through security in the US, remember that you can ask for a private inspection if you don't want them to go through your belongings or pat you down in public.

A tip since you're going down during the holidays:  I find that I can fly cheapest if I depart on Christmas Day and return on New Years Day.

Enjoy your trip, if you go.  Let us know how things turn out.

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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 07:42:06 AM »

Speak to your social worker at the dialysis center.  I was on PD for 3 years and I traveled to Mexico.  My supplies were delivered to my hotel by Fresenious.  I just had to carry on my small supplies.  I also carried with me a enough for 2 manual exchanges...just in case.  You can also speak to the customer service rep when you place your PD order.  They have a special travel department.  The service was free of charge, however my hotel decided at the last minute to charge me a "holding" fee per box.  I had previously spoken to the hotel manager and flipped out when they told me of a $10 fee per box.  We settled on a discount of $5 per box, but I was still upset about it.  No choose, since they wouldn't release my solution without paying.  Kind of a scam.  But it was no fault of Fresenious.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 10:02:05 PM »

Hello from a young PD patient in Bogotá, Colombia  ;) 

I have been three years with Fresenius waiting transplant, and have always asked myself how to travel internationally.  What kind of machines do you people use?  here in my country the pd machine is actually a very big thing, where you even hang the bangs.

If the city you're going is Bogotá, keep in mind that the best clinic that works with Baxter here is "La Fundación Santa Fe"
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2014, 05:32:15 PM »

Thanks for the reply's.

I just bought my ticket to Medellin a few days ago so I'll be there over new years for about a week. My wife flew out yesterday.

My nurse is having a letter made up and translated into Spanish stating the medical supplies I'll be checking in just in case I have any issues in customs. Since I am urinating at full output now and was doing only 2 exchanges/day up to this past August (bypass surgery) my Dr told me I can just do 2/day while away and continue when I get back. I'm pretty positive my upcoming blood test after I get back will confirm to continue at 2/day instead of the 3/day right now.

I'm doing manuals and don't/won't have a machine. This airline allows 2 bags at 50lb/bag to be checked so I don't see an issue since I'll only be taking 2 boxes of solution and a bottle of alcovis. I guess all I need now are copies of my perscriptions for my BP medication, blood thinner and lipitor.
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