The best advice is to always be prepared for an emergency when traveling. Before major trips, you should speak to your child's cardiologist and pediatrician to discuss your child’s health and agree on a calling protocol in case you need to reach them outside of office hours. If your child has a pacemaker/defibrillator, his/her electrophysiologist should also be notified.

It is a good idea to obtain a letter from your child’s cardiologist explaining your child's medical condition, his/her medication dosages and any surgical procedures performed in case you need to show it to an attending physician elsewhere. The American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics provides a standardized form that is universally accepted. The "Emergency Information Form for Children With Special Health Care Needs"  provides important medical information for hospital or pre-hospital emergency management.

Other helpful tips for traveling include:

  • Keep a list of your child's physician's phone number, insurance card and prescriptions with you at all times.

  • Pack copies of all necessary medical documents such as major tests, explanation of diagnosis, immunization schedule, medication prescriptions, AICD guidebook and patient card.

  • Bring a medical explanation letter that provides key information for a physician who has never treated your child before.

  • Ask your doctor to recommend a medical center or doctor near where you will be visiting.

  • Pack more medication than you need in case some is spilled or lost.

  • Keep your child’s medication in a carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is lost.

It is suggested you use caution when planning vacations or trips to remote places or developing countries where the level of medical care is basic or where knowledge of cardiomyopathy is limited. The same concerns apply to traveling on cruise ships where the level of medical care may not be advanced enough to handle a cardiac emergency.



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