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Nichole L. Caregiver

International Travel

Hi all! I am new to the community and have a few questions about international travel. My boyfriend (27yoa) had his LVAD implanted about 6 months ago. We just took our first trip from MSP to DC and had no problem with luggage at all (and we flew Spirit!). We took one wheeled carry-on and everything fit. We took the wall unit, charging station, and all the batteries we have plus the shower bag, dressing changes, medications, and a backpack. We brought a letter from his doctors and security was a breeze. We are now considering a trip to Rome in September. Has anyone traveled to Italy before? Not too nervous about the long flight. We have so many batteries including 2 extra sets that were given to us by a previous LVAD user. We are mostly wondering about a power converter? Can the wall unit and charging station be plugged into a converter? Other things to consider? Thank you! -Nichole
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Vikas M.

I think you should discuss it with your lvad team and insurance. Can you get the medical care overseas where you will be visiting? Do they support the type of LVAD device you have? Will your insurance cover the costs for your care overseas? Can you effectively communicate should you need emergency care? Will your batteries last the length of the flight and then some? Consider delays, layovers, etc. There is much to consider.
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Gregory D.

Okedoke, the charger works just fine at 110\220 50\60Hz. It what is called a switching power supply. You may need a particular AC Adaptor for that countries plug, but other that nothing is needed. I have traveled a number of times to China and Germany and never once had an issue.The only issue is how many batteries to take with you on the flight. 6 to 8 would be more than enough. Oh yeah, try to keep your flight transfers to a minimum. No real issue with them except getn on getn off getn on gettn off. DIrect flights cost a bit more but worth so much more with the least amount of hassle.
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In reply to by Gregory D.

Nichole L.

I thought that might be the case that we would only need an adapter. Did you typically buy travelers insurance for your trips? We haven't in our pre-VAD years but now are considering it? Thank you for all the help!
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In reply to by Nichole L.

Gregory D.

Nope. Traveler Insurance is one of the biggest scams ever. Look at it like this. You are wearing electronics, and batteries. Eventually some day wayyyyyyyyy down the road either 'Could" fail. But that's why you carry your back ups especially on flights. So enjoy and have fun.
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Mike A.

I sell Travel Insurance in addition to Medicare supplements and Part D plans in IL and AZ. Medicare has very limited coverage for foreign travel. It’s only 80 percent of $50,000 with a $250 deductible. If you need to be helicoptered off a cruise ship or are Itraveling internationally, that coverage with Medicare will not be sufficient to cover your cost. I recommend that clients have travel insurance that has high limits. Whenever we travel , we make sure that our Evacuation Coverage has high limits, up to $1,000,000.
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Susan P.

Hi, my Husband had his LVAD HM 3 fitted last week. I’ve been looking at all the options available as he wants to wear the batteries on his back rather than his sides for work so he can swing his arms around for his job without being hindered by the batteries but he wants something quick compact. Anyone in the UK found anything?
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In reply to by Susan P.

Richard B.

my wife came home. email Patty Richmond at hankpattyrichmond@sbcgloal.net. She has said her email can be shared freely. Good luck
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In reply to by Susan P.

Arthur B.

I have a HMll since 2011 . I wear my batteries on my hips through my belt loops. Controller in right front pocket, complete freedom to move around
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Richard B.

The best battery/controller setup was what my wife sewed from a pattern that was given on this website. She's not home now so I can't give you the link. The only problem with it is that you don't want to wear it in hot and humid weather, which in my experience doesn't occur in the UK. Because I am exposed to a lot of hot and humid weather, I have found this Etsy heartmate Tee shirt to be the best for hot and humid weather, but I don't know if they ship to Europe. https://www.etsy.com/listing/538843702/lvad-shirts-heartmate-only?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=lvad&ref=sr_gallery-1-1 Both of these alternatives work fine under dress shirts and hide my heartmate 2 fine.
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Ruth or Gary L.

My husband buys concealed weapon shirts at Scheels sporting goods. The batteries fit on the side. I can send a picture of you would like?
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Andrew C.

I ordered a vest of the LVAD GEAR page and my husband loves it, its mesh and cool to wear in Texas heat