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How can I prepare for travel if I am on hemodialysis?

Many hemodialysis centers have a staff member who is experienced in arranging hemodialysis treatments away from home (transient dialysis). Some centers will assist people in making arrangements through a medical travel coordinator. Ask your social worker or primary nurse if there is such a service at your center.

It is important to start planning at least six to eight weeks in advance. More time should be allowed for popular vacation spots, or travel during holidays. Be flexible about the dates for your trip, because space in dialysis units may be limited. If you want to have your treatments on specific days and at specific times, let the center know in advance. The unit may not always be able to honor your request because space is limited.

You or your medical travel coordinator may need to contact more than one dialysis center to find one that can provide dialysis for you. Check with the center as soon as you arrive to confirm your appointments. You may also want to visit the center and meet the staff so you will feel more comfortable. Before doing this, however, make an appointment with the social worker or nurse manager at the dialysis center you plan to visit.

If you plan to visit friends or family out of town, they may be able to give you the name and address of the dialysis center nearest them. Resource publications listing dialysis centers around the world that are willing to accept transient dialysis patients should be available at your center. Your social worker or the medical travel coordinator at your center will be able to assist you.

If you need to travel in an emergency, many dialysis centers make every effort to accommodate people in the event of an emergency, such as illness or death of a family member. Dialysis records will need to be faxed ahead.  You can also carry a copy in hand with you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.