6 Helpful Tips for Traveling with a Pacemaker
You’ve checked in for your flight, confirmed the Airbnb and packed your suitcase. You’re all ready to go – right? If you have a pacemaker or a surgically implanted defibrillator, it's crucial to take some additional precautions before embarking on your journey. By following these six easy tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:
- Consult with your doctor: Before traveling, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your travel plans. They can assess your health condition and address any concerns you might have. Obtaining medical clearance is essential to ensure you are fit for travel.
- Develop a contingency plan: It's wise to have a contingency plan in place in case you require medical attention during your trip. Ask your doctor for referrals of out-of-town medical providers and compile a list of their contact information and addresses. Having this information readily available can be invaluable in an emergency.
- Pack your medications and prescriptions: Remember to pack an ample supply of your medications, including any prescriptions. It is advisable to carry at least a week's worth (or more, depending on the duration of your trip) in your carry-on luggage. This ensures you have access to your medications even if your checked bag goes missing.
- Carry your medical device ID card: In case of an emergency, it is crucial to have your medical device ID card on your person. This card provides important information about your device to medical personnel, enabling them to provide appropriate care promptly. Keep it easily accessible in your wallet or travel bag.
- Inform the TSA agent at security: When going through airport security, notify the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent that you have a pacemaker or an implanted device. Some metal parts of your device may trigger the alarms. You may request a hand search instead of going through the scanner if you feel more comfortable. Alternatively, ask the agent to move the security wand quickly over your device area.
- Consider bringing your home remote monitoring unit with you if you are away longer than 7 days in-order for your doctor to have the ability to monitor your device in case of an unfortunate device related or heart rhythm issue while on vacation.
By taking these extra steps and making appropriate preparations, your travels with a pacemaker will be a breeze! Remember to prioritize your health, follow your doctor's advice, and enjoy your well-deserved vacation with peace of mind.