For the journey
When flying (especially for 6 hours or more) make sure that you: to keep mobile, warm and well hydrated throughout the flight
- drink plenty of fluid, preferably water, avoid alcohol as drinking it could result in dehydration.
- Carry warm clothing or use a blanket to prevent chilling. Cabin temperature is often cold
- Wear flight socks to reduce the risk of thrombosis – these can be bought in most large pharmacy stores
- Make sure and keep an adequate stock of your medication with you on the flight in case your luggage is lost.
- Always travel with a letter from your haematology team or GP listing your thalassaemia diagnosis and all the medications you require.
- Malaria: It is important to take effective precautions if you travel to or stop over in a country where malaria occurs. Your GP or hospital specialist can advise on the choice of antimalarial medication. Thalassaemia does not protect you from malaria. You should take the relevant anti-malarial tablets prescribed to the country/area in which you are going to stay.
- Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea is common among travellers abroad. If you have thalassaemia this can cause dehydration which can cause you to become unwell. To prevent this, it is advisable to carry a supply of oral rehydration salt sachets which can be purchased from your local pharmacy. If you develop a fever or notice blood in the stools you should seek immediate medical advice.
- Other infections: Get treatment urgently for any bites (especially dog) as these can lead to serious infections. Any bites should be kept clean and seek medical advice if there are any signs of fever or infection. Ensure you use insect repellent containing DEET, wear protective clothing and use mosquito nets.