Ιn this section we will give you a short overview of some things to consider when travelling with a bleeding disorder:
- Always take your medical identification information with you, including your last haemostasis results in case of an emergency.
- Always carry your own treatment products, treatment equipment and pharmaceutical drugs with you, as products will be different and probably very expensive in another country. Also, most countries have only limited supplies available and cannot be expected to give products reserved for their own patients to travellers.
- Carry a letter for security staff at your port of exit or entry, explaining why you are carrying treatment products, prescribed drugs, needles, syringes etc., and the serious implications of not having them immediately to hand. See sample letter for security.
- When travelling by air, always carry your own treatment products, treatment equipment and pharmaceutical drugs on-board the aircraft as hand baggage. This will allow you to present them quickly to security and customs, if requested. In addition, there are risks of loss, breakage and of temperature variations potentially affecting treatment products if stowed in the aircraft hold.
- Carry a letter from your treating doctor with information about your bleeding condition, any blood-borne viruses you may have and the usual treatment you receive. This letter should, if possible, be in the language of the country being visited. You may not always be able to treat yourself so this information is important.
- Carry a letter to present to customs, if requested, to explain why you are carrying treatment products, prescribed drugs, needles and syringes. Again, this letter should be in the language of the country being visited.
- If you are travelling to another country in the European Union to get healthcare services that will include overnight stay in a hospital or that are highly specialised, we advise you to check with your national contact point to verify which medical expenses will be covered by your national insurance and which will not. This contact point will also be able to inform you on whether you will need to get prior authorisation before you receive a medical service abroad. Please remember that, as a general rule, medical services and procedures received abroad will generally be covered by your national insurance only if they are covered in your own country. If your country does not cover a particular medical service or procedure, then it is likely that it will not reimburse the planned medical services you will get abroad. Different rules apply for emergencies. For more information about cross-border healthcare, please consult the European Commission’s Your Europe website.
- Prior to travelling we recommend that you download the Haemophilia Centre Locator application on your smartphone or mark the link on your laptop to access information about the centre nearest to you within the shortest delays.
- You may wish to write in advance to haemophilia centres in the country or countries you are visiting to enquire about the availability of treatment products and medical expenses that may be incurred for treatment.
- National haemophilia organisations can also be a source of assistance if needed while travelling. If you are travelling outside Europe, we recommend that you consult the World Federation of Hemophilia Passport website.
- If possible, make sure that you have the appropriate travel insurance. It is important to declare your bleeding condition otherwise medical attention related to it may not be covered. Ask your national haemophilia organisation for advice about which insurers to approach.
Haemophilia Central Website
The Haemophilia Central website provides information about:
- Guidelines for the treatment of bleeding disorders
- Ongoing clinical trials related to bleeding disorders
- Available products in European countries
- Haemophilia centres and organisations
Resource: European Haemophilia Consortium