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Adrienne H. Caregiver

Anyone have info on places to travel to safely ?

Hi friends!

my father has had an lvad for about a year now, and he has some hopes of traveling. In particular, in Central America. The hospital at one point mentioned if he’d be traveling, it’d be a good idea to have an lvad clinic nearby in whatever place he was venturing, if anything were to happen. Does anyone have any idea where I can access info on what countries have lvad clinics? I’m having a hard time finding accessible info... If we’re unable to travel to Central America, perhaps we can explore somewhere else but I’m just not sure where to start.


also does anyone have experience traveling without having an lvad clinic around? Maybe that’s another option to explore but I also want him to feel safe.

Meanwhile, I want him to be able to experience life as he’d like to. Any info is greatly appreciated! 

Thanks!

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Stan C.

Now that COVID has settled down some in the U.S. my wife and I have been discussing this.  We are hesitant to go out of the U.S. due to lack of medical abilities in other countries but do know some people who have gone to Europe without difficulty.  When you think about it I've had my Heart Mate 3 LVAD for 4 years and thankfully have had no emergencies in that time frame.  But, what if I did?

Before any traveling out of my home state my LVAD team requires that I advise them of stop locations so they can tell me the closest medical facility equipped to handle an emergency with my LVAD.  Even if the medically qualified facility is a long ways away from the hotel/motel, any local medical facility can always call your LVAD team (mine has a 24 hour emergency cell phone someone always has)  and you can be medevaced if necessary to a qualified facility.

Even so, my wife and I are still thinking of not taking the chance and just travel in the U.S.

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In reply to by Stan C.

Jodie P.

My 77 year old husband got his LVAD in July 2020.  He has done well and we decided to take advantage of a cruise credit we had.  In October we did a 21 day cruise from Seattle through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale.  We made stops in Mexico, Aruba and the Bahamas.  We figured that at any time we were no more than about a 3 hour flight to a major city in the US.  We had the blessing of our LVAD team and my husbands doctor.  Traveling is what we love.  We had a great time.  We never felt at risk.  There is a lot to see in the US and you have to be comfortable with your choices.  I hope you and your wife are able to enjoy your travels where ever they take you.

 

Jodie P

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Larry B.

Everyone should bookmark this. It’s a great resource. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/MedicareApprovedFacilitie/VAD-Destination-Therapy-Facilities

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Joan K.

We would love to travel to Europe next year but can’t find any listings for Heartmate 3 facilities. Does anyone know where to find a list or website? Ideally we would like to visit Rome, Prague or Copenhagen. We’ve also considered going to the Caribbean. We definitely need a break! 

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Mick S.

Before I received my LVAD I traveled to many countries through my work. I asked the question of locations I could travel to. I was told that some countries are definately off the agenda due to lack of facilities. I too asked for locations possible to travel to. My hospital kindly checked for me. I believe if you contact the manafucturers of the device they have a database of all facilities worldwide that they supply equipment to. Good luck with your research and future travels.

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Sharon P.

My LVAD was implanted in December 2018 and other than one serious bout with an infection all has been well. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel good again.

We flew to PA from CA in August but went first class to be a safer. Early November we went on a cruise which was fine especially since the ship was 1/2 full. It was round trip to Mexico from Los Angeles so there wasn't any flying. We never got off the ship.

My LVAD cardiologist said I could travel to any country where there were LVAD doctors.