Traveling with an ostomy can be accomplished easily with the right knowledge and materials. A few simple suggestions will make your travel experience less stressful. First, you will need a supply of Ostomy Pouches and Accessories and a statement from your physician.
When flying, pre-cut the ostomy pouches at home to avoid carrying scissors. Airport security will confiscate scissors unless they are packed in your checked luggage. Pack your ostomy supplies in both your carry on and checked luggage. In the case of lost or delayed luggage, you don’t want to be stranded without supplies.
Have extra supplies in the car if traveling by road, and put them in a cool place if possible. Include Wipes, tissues and Bandage Tape and pack bottled water, if needed. Include disposal bags for used ostomy items and include over the counter remedies to counteract diarrhea, such as Imodium or Kaolin.
When driving, find locations ahead of time to stop for checking and emptying the pouch. This will avoid unnecessary leakage problems. When flying, plan your airline transfers so that you have time to check pouch at the transfer airport.
Drink a glass of water or fruit juice every hour to maintain hydration during travel and stand at least one minute every hour to promote circulation and reduce leg cramps. Seek medical attention while travelling for any unusual signs or symptoms. Keep phone numbers immediately available so you can call your doctor or ostomy nurse for sever cramps, accidental cuts, excessive bleeding at the site of the ostomy, severe skin irritation or ulcers, or decreased output in the pouch for four or more hours.
If you are travelling overseas, it is helpful to carry with you a dictionary of ostomy terms, as well as, a statement written in different languages that asks for privacy if a search is to be conducted. All screening at airports must be conducted in a way that treats passengers with courtesy, dignity, and respect. You may request that any personal screening be conducted in a private area.
Keep in mind that on Aug 10, 2006, TSA banned all liquids, gels and aerosols from carry-on baggage, with only a few exceptions for required medications, baby formula, diabetic glucose treatments, etc.
The statement from your physician should state your need for ostomy supplies in case of misunderstandings during a baggage search. Include your doctor’s name, address and phone number.
Based on these rules, you should have no difficulty carrying a 2-ounce tube of Stoma Paste or a few remover wipes, Barrier Wipes, etc. Remember that the restrictions apply only to carry-on luggage; you can pack as much as you want in your checked luggage.
For all ostomy supplies, you should check out Vitality Medical for top quality, discount prices on Medical Supplies and service that is knowledgeable, discreet and efficient. Vitality Medical makes shopping online for all your medical supplies simpler.
Resources: A helpful book called Yes We Can is available at http://www.chandlerhousebooks.com/index.php?page_id=261&page_item_id=29
General information may be found at the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc website . http://www.ostomyinternational.org/ostomy.html.