Tips Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Must Know Before Traveling

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It is typical for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients to travel during the holiday season to visit friends, family or just get away. In general, traveling can give a big boost to a patient's morale and sense of well-being. 

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If you are anticipating travel and conduct in-center dialysis then you likely have already made the appropriate travel accommodations with your dialysis center staff which takes approximately 1 to 2 months. However, if you are experiencing a family 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, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Be sure to take your insurance information, recent lab results, and a list of the medications you are taking. 

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Although most home hemodialysis patients make arrangements for in-center treatments while traveling, if you will be conducting home treatment, because of portability it is still important to know where the closest dialysis center is if you should need assistance. Let the center know when you will be in the area, and ask if they would be willing to provide medical assistance if needed. Also, you should carry complete medical information with you. 

If Medicare is your primary insurance coverage, it will pay 80% of your treatment costs only within the U.S. and its territories and if you have a secondary insurance it may pay the remaining 20% of costs associated with dialysis. However, in some cases you may have to pay this 20 percent "up front" and bill your insurance later, noted the National Kidney Foundation.

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CKD patients should not forget to bring enough of their medications to last for their entire trip. Further, if you are planning to travel by plane or train, make arrangements for any special meals (low-salt, low-fat or diabetic) at the time you make your reservations. Similarly, when making a hotel reservation you should request a first-floor room or a handicapped-accessible room if stairs or distances are a problem.

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KidneyBuzz.com is pleased that you have chosen to incorporate us and these recommendations into your travel planning. Remember to always ask your Social Worker and Head Nurse if you have any additional questions. Also, for more news and information on how to improve your life while fighting CKD and how to get a transplant sooner, visit KidneyBuzz.com daily as well as Follow us on Twitter (@kidneybuzz) and "Like" us on our Facebook Page

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References: 

"TRAVEL TIPS: A GUIDE FOR KIDNEY PATIENTS." Http://www.kidney.org. The National Kidney Foundation: A to Z Health Guide.

"Vacation Planning for Dialysis Patients." Kidney Health. Kidney Health: Manitoba Renal Program.