Travel Tips for Dialysis Patients

Peritoneal dialysis patients

If you are a peritoneal dialysis (PD) patient, you have much greater freedom to travel because you are not limited to a dialysis center schedule. Just discuss your travel plans with your PD nurse and social worker.

Make sure you coordinate the shipment of your supplies to your hotel or vacation home. Your supply vendor representative can deliver most of the supplies you need right to your destination. You may also want to ask your home dialysis center to help you locate a PD center in the city you are visiting in case you run out of supplies or need emergency medical care while away from home.

Home hemodialysis patients

Home hemodialysis (HHD) patients have more choices than ever before, with the availability of equipment that is portable, easy to set up and supported with supplies that can be delivered anywhere in the continental United States.

The first step in planning a trip is to call your doctor or dialysis provider and tell him or her about your travel plans. He or she can guide you on how to maintain your treatments while on the road, what to bring with you, how to schedule in-center appointments if needed and much more. To schedule in-center appointments, call the DaVita Guest Services Contact Center at 1-800-244-0680.

In-center hemodialysis patients

Planning is especially important when you visit a popular travel destination. Contact a DaVita dialysis center in the city you are visiting at least 2 weeks in advance of your visit to schedule your treatments. Though it is possible to get into a dialysis center with shorter notice, you may have to drive a longer distance or take an inconvenient shift. You can also talk to your social worker or nurse, who will help you arrange for dialysis treatments when you travel. Find a dialysis center online or call 1-800-244-0680 and talk to a DaVita Guest Services Specialist.

Traveling with a wheelchair

Be sure to notify your airline that you are traveling with a manual wheelchair, an electric wheelchair or a scooter, and request "maximum assistance" at the airport.

When you arrive at the airline ticket counter, ask the attendant to "gate-check" your wheelchair and obtain a luggage claim receipt for it. This will allow you to roll your wheelchair directly to the plane, where you can either walk to your seat or transfer into an "aisle chair" for assistance to your seat.

You should also notify the hotel that you are traveling with a wheelchair and request a handicapped-accessible or first-floor room.

Another piece of equipment you may have with you is your portable HHD machine, if you are a home dialysis patient. Be sure to call ahead to the airline about bringing your device. Remember, the airline should not charge extra baggage fees for a clearly marked medical device. Talk with your nurse to get more information.

Special diet when you travel

When making your airline reservation, be sure to ask if the airline has special meals, such as diabetic, vegetarian, low-salt, low-fat, etc. It is advisable to bring your own diet-appropriate food and snacks for travel delays and long trips, especially because many airlines do not provide meals and airport shops and restaurants may not have healthy food options.

Book travel today

Need help planning your getaway? DaVita has more than 1,700 dialysis centers nationwide, and they are available to travelers regardless of where you normally dialyze. Call 1-800-244-0680 and talk to a DaVita Guest Services Specialist.

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