CARING FOR A CHILD:
Before major trips, you should speak
to your child's cardiologist and pediatrician to agree
on a calling protocol (when to call, 24 hour number to
call) in case you need to reach them. If your child has
a pacemaker/defibrillator, you should also notify the electrophysiologist.
It is a good idea to obtain a letter 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. A good form to have filled
out by your child's physician is the universally accepted
Form for Children with Special Healthcare Needs" provided
by the Committee of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. This
form provides important medical information for hospital
or pre-hospital emergency management.
The best advice is always be prepared for an emergency when traveling:
- Keep a list of your child's physician's
phone number 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, insurance information,
and important numbers (cardiologist, electrophysiologist,
pediatrician). Or bring a medical explanation letter
with you so that you will have relevant 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. If
possible, find out the directions and contact numbers
for these references in advance.
- Always take more medication than
you know you need in case of some spills. To prevent
the possibility of your child's medication getting
lost, keep your child's medication with you at all
times and do not check it in.
As common sense will dictate, caution
should be exercised in scheduling vacations or trips to
remote destinations where the level of medical care is
rudimentary or where knowledge of cardiomyopathy is limited.
The same considerations 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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