Tips for Traveling with a Pacemaker

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You’ve checked in for your flight, confirmed the Airbnb and packed your suitcase. You’re all ready to go – right?

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If you have a pacemaker or a surgically implanted defibrillator (ICD) it’s important to take the following precautions before jetting off for your summer vacation:

  • Talk with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for travel. Address any concerns you might have in advance.
  • Develop a contingency plan in case you need to seek medical attention while travelling. Make sure to ask your doctor for referrals of out of town medical providers and keep a list of phone numbers and addresses handy.
  • Pack copies of your prescriptions along with any medications you might be taking. It’s best to have at least a week’s worth (or more) depending on how long your trip is. Make sure these essentials are in your carryon luggage – just in case your checked bag gets lost!
  • Carry your Medical device ID card with you. In case of an emergency this card provides medical personnel with key information about your device.
  • Let the TSA agent at security know you have a pacemaker or implanted device before going through the scanner since some of the metal parts might set off alarms. Be cautious of airport security wands as these could temporarily impact your device. Ask the agent to move over your device area quickly or, if you are more comfortable, opt for a hand search.
  • While in flight, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If it’s a long flight, doing simple leg stretches or ankle rotations in your seat will help keep your circulation steady

Remember – with a little extra preparation, your summer travels with a pacemaker will be a breeze!

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