Tips for traveling while on kidney dialysis

For people who have lost the function of their kidneys, dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment they must undergo several times per week.

Although dialysis doesn’t take vacations, dialysis patients sure can – they just need to plan ahead when they travel.

“Traveling is an empowering way to show how patients can lead active lives on dialysis,” says Dan Martella, senior director of guest services at DaVita Kidney Care. “Patients should know that being on dialysis doesn’t mean that they can’t still do the things they enjoy.”

This checklist can help patients make sure they have everything prepared ahead of time for their upcoming travels.

1. Make sure your doctor, nurse and social worker are aware of your travel schedule so that staff can help ensure a smooth process during that time.

2. Confirm what expenses are covered by your insurance carrier. DaVita Kidney Care offers insurance consultations online and through its guest services phone number to help patients determine what health care travel costs their insurance will cover.

3. Contact a dialysis center close to your hotel or vacation home so the center can accommodate your travel plans accordingly. To locate a center near a vacation destination, use the “Find a Dialysis Center” tool on DaVita.com.

4. If you don’t dialyze in-center, it is important you still identify a dialysis center nearby in case there is an emergency, like lost luggage or forgetting an item at home.

5. Pack your medical information with your carry-on luggage and bring it to dialysis. Information should include medical records, recent lab reports, dialysis prescriptions and medication taken.

6. Bring extra medication in case you get delayed while traveling.

It may seem daunting to organize your dialysis treatments as part of your vacation plans, but DaVita’s guest services team can help. Guest services specialists regularly assist thousands of patients in scheduling dialysis treatments to fit their travel schedules. This service is available to all dialysis patients at no cost.

DaVita Kidney Care provides travel assistance to dialysis patients across the country, which includes finding a center near their travel destination to accommodate the patient’s schedule and helping to ensure the new center is prepared to welcome the visiting dialysis patient.


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