Hemophilia and travelling abroad

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Teens living with hemophilia learn practical tips when they are ready to take a trip abroad.

Whether you are relaxing on a beach with family and friends, or backpacking in a new country for the first time, travelling abroad is a fun way to learn more about yourself while discovering new people and places. Depending on where you are going, you may not have access to the same level of health care you do at home. Prior to your trip, contact your comprehensive care team (CCT). They can help you decide whether it is safe for you to travel based on your current health status and your planned activities during your trip. You can also contact your local hemophilia society office to get the latest information regarding travel.

Tips while travelling:

  • Keep an up-to-date treatment card with you and the contact information for the closest treatment centre.
  • Make sure you have enough factor with you. Keeping track of the pace at which you use your supply of factor is important, especially if you will not be able to get factor at your travel destination. Even if you do not regularly need factor, it is a good idea to take some emergency treatments with you. Talk to your CCT for guidance.
  • Most factor can be stored at room temperature, but it is important to remember that extreme temperatures should be avoided.
  • Contact the transportation company you are travelling with to ensure there are no carry-on luggage restrictions before putting these supplies in your carry-on luggage.
  • Ask your doctor to sign a letter in case you run into problems with carry-on luggage. Ask your doctor to write a letter similar to this one: Hemophilia - Sample Letter for Airport Security.pdf
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet at all times. If you are self-conscious about this wear it on the same wrist as a watch and tuck the information part of the bracelet under the strap so it’s less visible.
  • Keep a copy of your travel insurance with you at all times and it never hurts to give an extra copy to friends you trust.
  • Make sure you signed a Release of Medical Records form at your CCT before you travel.
  • Learn which hospitals are nearby your travel destination and have a list of emergency contact numbers.
  • You may decide to contact CCT centres in the country or countries you are visiting before your trip. This way you can ask whether factor is available and about medical expenses.
  • Have the doctor at your CCT write and sign a letter that describes your condition, the medicines you are on, and the appropriate care you should receive in the event of an emergency. Should something unexpected happen, this can help explain your hemophilia to new health-care providers and get the care you need quickly. Here is a sample letter: Hemophilia - Sample Travel Letter From Treating Doctor.pdf
  • Print this travel checklist to help you make sure you bring everything necessary to treat bleeds while you are away: Hemophilia - Travel Checklist.pdf

Before leaving the country, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance that will cover you in case of any emergency. This is very important, so don’t forget!

Recommended travel websites

For transportation Inquiries:

Canadian government:

Last updated: March 13th 2019