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Glen R. Recipient

going on an Alaskan Cruise

My husband received his HeartMate 3 May 24, 2017. He is having some issues with the sorbaview dressing. He hs very sensitive skin. Any ideas. Also we are planning an Alaskan Cruise next year. Any suggestions how to travel on a cruise ship with his contoller he plugs in at night and his battery charger.
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Henry R.

Hi. It is pretty easy to travel by cruise ship with the Heartmate 2, I assume it is very similar to the Heart 3. For the Alaskan cruise, the ship is sure to have 110V electricity, and normal American style plugs. Just plug in your equipment as at home, and you will be ready to go. I would suggest getting a small night light for the bathroom, to guide you at night. We went on a river cruise in France last year, where they only have 220V electricity. All I needed was an plug adapter for my equipment, which I got on Amazon. The Heartmate equipment is 110-220 voltage. It was no problem. Check out my post about the LVAD vest, which will make life so much more comfortable. My wife will send you the instructions by email. I forget I'm toting this equipment, seriously, and it doesn't show under most shirts. Have a great cruise. Hank Richmond
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Henry R.

Hi, sorry to hear you are having skin sensitivity. Here are some tips my wife and I have figured out during the past three years. It's always a good idea to check with your doctor first before trying these ideas. 1. Keep the area shaved. My wife uses my Norelco shaver, but does not shave the immediate area around the driveline. She shaves the area where the bandages are going to stick. 2. As an alternative to the regular dressing kit, I use a 4 in by 4 in sterile gauze, taped in place by paper tape. This gives the usual taped area a break, as the gauze is larger and the taped area is moved out just a bit. Also, the paper tape is gentle. I like to use this dressing after a shower, because it allows the driveline exit point to dry nicely. I tape the gauze on, but leave the center area of the gauze untaped, so it can breathe. I clean the area first with two sterile 4 by 4 gauzes soak with rubbing alcohol. You can buy this gauze and tape online or get it from your LVAD supplier. They can also provide separate sterile gloves. 3. If my INR number is regularly on the high side, I have found that this makes my skin thinner and easier to bleed, especially around the driveline. Keeping the INR closer to the low side helps me a lot with this issue. Hope this helps. Hank and Patty Richmond
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In reply to by Henry R.

Bob B.

So, to assist us in taking off the bandage we use Detachol Medical Adhesive remover on round makeup pads. It makes it so much easier to take off the bandage. I gently lift one edge and then wipe the soaked makeup pad where the still stuck bandage is touching my skin. Try it once - I think you'll like it. We get it off Amazon,
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Henry R.

Woops, the paper tape proper name is Micropore tape, two inches wide. Thanks.
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Christine L.


When we went on an Alaskan cruise last year, there was only one usable outlet in the cabin.  We ended up having to use a heavy duty extension cord which we arranged for at the guest services desk.  The trip went off very well, and the whole family had an unforgettable vacation together.

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Gene C.

I'd guess that most of us, if not all, are on blood thinners. So, when you cruised, did the ship's medical facility have the ability to test your INR?

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In reply to by Gene C.

Reiss T.

See if your center will let you self test using CoaguChek, a division of Roche Diagnostice. I have been using it for 7 years. I stick my finger, put a drop of blood on a test strip, get a reading and send the results on line to CoagyChek. They in turn report it to my center same day who will then give me a call to discuss any needed adjustments to dosage. If no change is indicated they  may just send me a secure message saying "no change". I did this from Italy. Fast and simple. You can probably do this from aboard ship if you have time to order the supplies befort you set sail. Have a greagt trip.