With the main holiday season approaching, here are some Travel FAQ’s to help you to make the best of your time away.
Q: Can I take my saline ISC Catheters in my hand luggage?
A: Yes, we would suggest that you carry at least 3-4 days’ worth in your hand luggage as unfortunately lost luggage can be common when flying. We would also recommend obtaining a travel certificate from your home delivery company or manufacturer and a letter from your healthcare professional stating that you require the enclosed ISC Catheters to enable you to empty your bladder and that you must always carry these medical devices with you.
Q: Do I have to declare that I am carrying medical devices when I go on holiday abroad?
A: It is advisable to notify your airline that you will be carrying medical devices in your hand luggage and in the hold, a) they might increase you hand luggage allowance, b) they can sometimes arrange for your cases to be stored in a separate pressurised hold as they are important medical supplies. It is possible to obtain medical exemption clearance for essential medical devices/medicines especially if they contain saline/water.
Q: I’m going to stay with my daughter in Australia for a couple of months, can I get products out there?
A: Many home delivery services offer this service where your GP will issue a prescription as normal or for the additional quantity and the home delivery service will deliver to your daughters address in Australia in advance of your trip to ensure it is awaiting your arrival. Manufacturers of medical devices have distributors all over the world and may have one in Australia where you can obtain your supplies from, you would need to contact the manufacturer either directly or via your home delivery service to obtain the necessary address and contact details.
Q: What will happen at the airport if they check my luggage and see my medical devices, I will be really embarrassed?
A: Obtain a sunflower lanyard either from the airport at check in or online before arrival, the lanyard is used to highlight to staff that you have a hidden medical condition/disability. Take a travel certificate with you, most manufacturers/home delivery services have one, this document explains the reason you are carrying medical equipment with you and is often translated into the most common languages. Ask your healthcare professional for an open letter addressed `to whom it may concern’ which states what the medical devices you are carrying are used for and that if an examination is necessary that a qualified medical practitioner should be present. Or notify the airline in advance so there is a record of this against your booking. All the above will assist with your luggage being handled in a discreet manner and to save you from any embarrassing situations.
Q: I constantly need to go to the toilet so I now must avoid long journeys, is there anything that could help me?
A: There are many ways/devices to manage your urinary urgency, it sounds like you may benefit from an assessment with a continence advisor or urology nurse specialist. Your GP will be able to refer you to one of these specialist services or alternatively you can contact our nursing service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why do I often get a UTI on holiday and not at home?
A: This is because many individuals don’t drink as much when on holiday as they do at home and drink more alcohol and less water. We would advise that you carry a bottle of water with you when travelling.