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RETURN PATIENTS : TIPS FOR TRAVELLING

FOLLOW UP ARRANGEMENTS / EMERGENCY SITUATIONS / TIPS FOR TRAVELLING / TIPS FOR COPING WITH PH SYMPTOMS / ADVICE ON EXERCISE / ADVICE ON CONTRACEPTION / BENEFITS / COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE / ADVICE ON WARFARIN THERAPY


Following the diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension, many people assume that travel and holidays are a thing of the past. This is not necessarily true. It does often mean that travel and holiday plans need to be carefully thought out in advance and extra care taken.

 

If you are in any doubt about your ability to travel or indeed travel by air, your Pulmonary Vascular doctor or nurse can advise.

 

Listed below are some things you should consider before travelling or going on holiday.

 

  • Am I medically fit to travel?
  • Do I need oxygen whilst travelling or during a flight?
  • Am I fit to fly?

 

If you are in any doubt about any of the above, please consult with your nurse specialist or with your Consultant at the clinic.

 

When booking a holiday, consider:

 

Airport

  • If you are on a drug which is administered via a pump e.g. Flolan or UT-15 it is important to inform the airport in advance.
  • If you require carrying medical equipment in your hand luggage e.g. a nebuliser such as an I-Neb, or indeed anticipating needing to use a nebuliser during a flight it is important to telephone the airline in advance to inform them of this.
  • In addition to this, it is often helpful to carry a letter which explains this to ground or air staff. Your specialist nurse can provide this for you.
  • If you require oxygen on the plane, this needs to be booked in advance. Most airlines will provide oxygen on board but will charge for this, and the cost can vary.
  • Expect delays! Ensure that you have enough medication with you if your flight is delayed. If your medication is administered via a pump, make sure that neither the medication nor batteries are liable to run out. Always carry spare pump and batteries on your person.

 

Accommodation

  • If possible, book ground floor accommodation with disabled access if required.
  • Alternatively, check that your hotel has an elevator.
  • If you are driving to your hotel, ensure it has parking for disabled drivers.
  • Try to find out as much about your hotel as possible. E.g. Is it situated at the top of a hill?, How close are the local amenities?
  • If you are arranging for an oxygen concentrator to be delivered to your room, it is important to inform the hotel in advance.
  • If your medication requires that you use ice packs, is there facility to do this i.e. fridge with freezer compartment available to you.
  • Does your hotel room have air conditioning?
  • For people travelling with devices which require to be charged e.g. I-Neb, ensure that you have an adapter as voltages may vary.

 

Emergency Situations

  • Consider carrying information about your condition, medication etc on your person in the form of a Medi-Alert bracelet.
  • Ensure that you know the local emergency telephone numbers, and the location of the nearest English speaking pharmacy and doctor.
  • Carry with you the contact numbers for the SPVU, including the international dialling code.

 

Travel / Holiday insurance

  • Ensure that you have adequate insurance prior to any holiday or travel.
  • Make sure you understand exactly what is covered by your policy and what is not.
  • Many insurance companies will charge extra for patients who have pulmonary hypertension. The cost of holiday / travel insurance can vary enormously. Shop around!
  • If you find it difficult to obtain insurance, your nurse specialist may be able to advise you.
  • If you are travelling within the European Union, you are entitled to free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment if you have a completed E111 form (available from the post office)
  • Outwith the EU, you will have to pay the full cost of any health care you receive if you become unwell, and are strongly advised to have full medical insurance.

 

Medication

  • Ensure that you have adequate supplies of your medication with you. Take into account the possibility of delays.

 

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