In many parts of the country, a lack of facilities can restrict some of the locations you can visit, but
Dialysis Freedom (01509 808668) run a holiday dialysis 'swap' scheme, to help with dialysis availability in other areas.
If you are going abroad, it can be easier to arrange dialysis at short notice as some overseas centres have more facilities, although holiday destinations may get booked up early.
The Global Dialysis website has a database of dialysis units across the world, although many will charge for the service.
Anyone with kidney disease should declare this as a pre-existing medical condition when applying for travel insurance, and certain cover may be either excluded or very expensive.
There are two kinds of peritoneal dialysis:
- Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD)
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)
The basic treatment is the same for each type of peritoneal dialysis. The differences relate to the number of treatments and the ways that these are carried out.
Automated peritoneal dialysis
If you are travelling by plane or driving long distance, you can arrange to have fluid and supplies drop-shipped to your destination. Make sure you plan well in advance as the delivery for some destinations can take up to eight weeks.
If you are staying at a hotel, call ahead to let the staff know you are expecting important medical supplies. Mention that the shipment will include several heavy boxes which must be stored in a dry, clean area away from direct sunlight. Contact them again a day or so before check-in to ensure that everything has arrived.
Travel insurance will not cover APD machines, although it should be possible to arrange cover through your home contents insurance. Keep this with you at all times to prevent loss or damage.
Request a letter from your doctor detailing that the cycler is a medical device that must remain in your possession and that the bags of solution, should you ever have to fly with them, are for medical treatment and must not be opened.
The cylinder may not always fit into overhead airplane compartments because the overhead bins vary in size. Check with the airline before you travel.
At your destination, check that there is a grounded electrical outlet close enough to the bed for the machine to be used, and ensure that the voltage and type of plug and outlet are compatible with your machine.
Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)
CAPD is continuous and machine-free. It is done whilst you go about your normal routine. If you are on CAPD then this type of dialysis works by gravity. You may need to hire a drip stand or improvise so that the bag is elevated on a hook.