Tips for hassle-free travel this July

If you have an inherited bleeding disorder, we recommend taking a look at this checklist to find out how to have a stress-free trip to Orlando this summer.

Properly preparing for a trip can be challenging. That’s especially true for people with a bleeding disorder who have to pay special attention to the different regulations, available medications, and medical support infrastructure of the countries they are visiting.

While Orlando boasts a world-class medical system that Congress attendees can access in the case of an emergency, there are a few things to keep in mind for your travel to the United States. Here’s a quick checklist for those with a bleeding disorder who will be making their way to the Sunshine State this July. For a detailed information, please see the complete detailed checklist on our website.

Remember to:

  • Bring a letter from your physician explaining your condition and your need for medication
  • Update your insurance coverage for your travels
  • Secure any required documents before you leave
  • Research local resources before you arrive to familiarize yourself with them
  • Carry your own medication with you if possible during your travels

Need a few more details? Read on to find out how to take the stress out of your travel to Orlando this summer.

Bring a letter from your physician
It’s very important to ask your doctor for a letter explaining your condition, why you are carrying treatment products, prescribed drugs, needles, etc. and the serious implications of not having these items. Note that you will need a travel letter—in English—signed by your physician in order to carry your medication on the plane.

For a sample travel letter that your physician can use, please click here. The letter should explain that you have been prescribed less than a three-month supply of medication to bring to the U.S. with you. Also, your letter should indicate if you need to carry needles or syringes in addition to administration devices supplied by the manufacturer.

Update your insurance coverage
Be sure to confirm with your insurance company that you have full medical coverage before buying your ticket. Insurance companies may have to receive additional information from you, or may need to modify your coverage before you leave. Generally, it is recommended that you purchase personal travel insurance for your visit to the U.S. to cover emergency medical treatment and health care in the case of any other illness or accident that might occur, even if you cannot be insured for your pre-existing medical condition(s).

Secure any required documents
Depending on where you are traveling from, you might need a visa and/or a formal letter of invitation in order to enter the United States. For your visa requirements, we recommend you visit the appropriate U.S. government site, such as this one to get all the info you need for your particular situation.

If you need a formal letter of invitation, please contact us and we will be happy to provide one for you. However, we recommend getting in touch with us as soon as you can, since no invitation letters will be issued after June 24, 2016.

To get an invitation letter, simply send us the following information to [email protected]:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Company
  • Address
  • City
  • Province or state
  • Country
  • Postal or zip code
  • Passport number

Note: Letters of invitation are issued every Friday, letters are only provided to registrants who have paid their fees in full.

Research local resources
The best resource for people with bleeding disorders is the local hemophilia treatment centre or the national hemophilia organization. If you have concerns about the local organization being able to support your condition, or the potential costs involved for treatment or medication, we recommend contacting them directly with your concerns.

The easiest way to find a local bleeding disorders organization is to use the WFH global database of hemophilia treatment centres. You can also refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Carry your own medication
Note that free medical treatment is generally not available to overseas visitors to the United States. Consequently, carry your own treatment products, treatment equipment, and pharmaceutical drugs with you to Orlando. We recommend that you bring enough clotting factor treatment with you for your entire stay. If you are travelling to different parts of the U.S. before or after the WFH 2016 World Congress, note that clotting factor treatments for emergency use may not be available in smaller hospitals.

Be sure to declare your medication to United States Customs and provide the letter from your doctor when entering the United States. Also, we recommend that you carry all your treatment products with you on the plane as carry-on luggage—not in checked-in luggage. This will allow you to present them to security and customs if requested. This also eliminates the chance that your treatment products might get lost by the airline, or affected by the colder temperature of the plane’s cargo hold. Remember that it is your responsibility to store your medicines and clotting factor treatment in packaging that meets manufacturer’s advice for temperature control and to check with your airline that your cold store packaging meets security requirements. Also, keep the medicine in its original packaging with the product labelling visible. If you are travelling with plasma derived clotting factor it should be labelled “product of human origin”, or be accompanied by supporting documentation from the supplier to confirm the origin.

We strongly encourage you to take a look at the complete detailed checklist on our website and make sure that you are well-prepared for your trip so you can leave for sunny, warm Florida with complete peace of mind.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia (By Adrian Pingstone – uploader’s own work, Public Domain,