If you are planning to travel abroad, check well in advance which vaccinations are required. Immunosuppressed patients should not receive live vaccines .
Listed below are some of the vaccines that transplant patients can and cannot have. Only a few have been covered. If you are in any doubt about which vaccines are suitable, please check with the transplant co-ordinator who will be able to advise you.
|Permitted vaccines||Vaccines not to be given|
|Influenza vaccine||MMR Vaccine|
|Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine (salk)||Poliomyelitis vaccine – live oral type – (sabin)|
|Pneumococcal vaccine||Oral typhoid vaccine (vivotif)|
|Polysaccharide Typhoid vaccine (Typhum Vi)||Smallpox vaccine|
|Yellow fever vaccine|
Before planning to go to a country where there is malaria, discuss this with your transplant doctor. Some anti-malarial treatment can affect the levels of immunosuppression in your blood. In addition, if you do contract malaria whilst immunosuppressed this can be very dangerous.
Don’t book your holiday until you take out holiday insurance which covers you for a pre-existing medical condition . Most standard policies do not and if your travel agent states that you will be covered under their insurance policy, ask to see a copy of their full policy. The cost of treatment for a person with kidney failure can be extremely expensive abroad, especially beyond Europe.
The important message for all transplant patients going on holiday to sunny destinations is – “Avoid the sun and you can avoid skin cancer”. Transplant patients are three times more likely than other people to get skin cancers after a transplant because of the immuno-suppressant drugs they need to take. However, skin cancer can be avoided and, if detected early, can be easily treated.
Using sunblocks – The effectiveness of a sunblock is rated by an SPF (sun protective factor) number. The number indicates how long you can stay in the sun before your skin burns. For example, if your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes out in the sun, an SPF of 15 means that you can stay in the sun fifteen times longer before burning than if you were wearing no sunscreen; in this case that would be 150 minutes. However, this information is supplied for the general public and because some transplant medication makes the skin extra sensitive to the sun, all transplant patients are advised to use an SPF factor of 25 or higher.
Please be aware that you cannot “add” SPF numbers. If an SPF 25 sunblock will protect you for two hours, you will need to apply a stronger SPF if you want to stay in the sun for more than two hours, rather than just applying more SPF 25.
Other simple ways to avoid exposure to the harmful rays of the sun:
Transplant immuno-suppressant drugs also reduce a patient’s ability to fight infections. Simple precautions include:
Organise assistance at ports, airports, etc – If you tire easily, or have problems with mobility, most airports now offer wheelchairs and/or chauffeured “buggies”, which will whisk you through check-in, the departure procedures and passport control in minutes. Ferry ports, railway stations and many special attractions also offer this type of assistance. You will need to book this in advance.
Holiday Insurance Companies
Address: Hamilton Barr House
Bridge Mews, Bridge Street.
Surrey GU7 1HZ.
Telephone: 01483 255888 Fax: 01483 255888
Profile: Free Spirit provide comprehensive holiday insurance cover for renal patients. Their Medical team (who are familiar with renal problems) will discuss your medical condition and needs with you in order to provide a quotation.
LEADING EDGE TRAVEL INSURANCE SERVICES LTD.
Address: The Business Centre
1-7 Commercial Road
Telephone: 01892 836622 Fax: 01892 836622 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Profile: Offer travel insurance to UK residents up to 40 years of age. Do not charge extra to cover passengers with a pre-existing medical condition, although restrictions to cover may apply.
LEISURECARE INSURANCE SERVICES LTD.
Telephone: 01793 750661 Fax: 01793 750661 Email: email@example.com
Profile: Cover from UK to EU countries only for people aged 59 ears or younger, and who reside in the UK on a permanent basis.
Can include extra cancellation cover if on transplant waiting list.
OUR WAY TRAVEL INSURANCE
Address: Foxbury House
Telephone: 020 8313 3353 or 0208 313 3900 Fax: 020 8313 3353 or 0208 313 3900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Profile: Cover for medically or physically disadvantaged UK residents up to 60 years or age. All accompanying family and friends must be insured under the same policy. Link to their site or contact them for further details of terms and conditions.
MEDI-COVER TRAVEL INSURANCE
Telephone: 0870 735 3600
CITYBOND TRAVEL CONSULTANTS
21 Station Road
Telephone: 0208 771 6431
68 High Street,
Telephone: 0800 181532
The UK has reciprocal health service agreements with other EC member countries(as well as some countries outside the EC). You need to take an E111 form with you if you are to benefit from these reciprocal health service agreements. Possession of the E111 form will entitle you to free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in specified countries.
The E111 form can be obtained from your local Post Office. In order to be valid the form needs to be filled in and signed by you and stamped at the Post Office (you will need your passport with you). Do not forget to take the form with you when you travel. The form is valid indefinitely, unless a claim is made on it or you are no longer ordinarily resident in the UK.
Please note : because the reciprocal health service agreements do not always cover the full cost of treatment, it is always advisable to have insurance even when travelling around the EC.
Information on diseases abroad can also be supplied by MASTA (Medical Advisory Service to Travellers Abroad), who can also provide an individual health brief (recommended immunisations, together with up to date health news and travel advice from the Foreign Office).
Telephone: 0908 8 224100 (calls charged at 60p per minute) Fax: 0908 8 224100 (calls charged at 60p per minute) For more information visit Website: http://www.masta.org
They provide up to date health and travel news and can supply an individual health brief according to your itinerary, including details of recommended vaccinations, etc.
BRITISH AIRWAYS CLINICS
Address: British Airways
Telephone: 01276 685040 Fax: 01276 685040 For more information visit Website : http://www.britishairways.com/travelclinics
Offers travel advice whether travelling by land, sea or air. Receives up-to-date information on 84 different health hazards in more than 250 countries, which means advice can be tailored to your individual itineraries. Immunisation advice and vaccinations are available.There are branches throughout UK – call or visit their website for details of individual branches
Emergencies – Make sure you and your travelling companion(s) have with you at all times emergency contact numbers. These should include your medical contact at destination (nearest unit or equivalent will be provided by your UK renal unit – make sure you know whether it is open 24 hours, and if not, what your alternative contact number is), numbers of your UK renal unit, travel agent and insurance company.
Health Advice for Travellers, a booklet published by the Department of Health contains comprehensive information on the E111, as well as the E111 application form (also available from Post Offices). It also details what is covered by reciprocal arrangements for healthcare abroad, tips on avoiding health risks and information on vaccinations required for visits to certain countries. Available, free of charge, by calling 0800 555 777, or got to the Department of Health Website.
MEDICATION – always divide your supply of tablets. Keep half with you in your hand luggage, and pack the other half in the luggage you check in, or give it to a travelling companion to carry.
Take a letter from your doctor stating that the drugs you are carrying are prescription drugs.
Please be aware that while we have made all effort to ensure that this brief information is accurate, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes. Also that the best management for individual patients may differ from that outlined here. Only the doctors caring for the patient will be able to advise on this.