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Safety Tips for Traveling with Epilepsy

  
  
  

traveling with epilepsy tipsSummer is starting to wind down and the furthest you’ve gotten from home is the doctor’s office. Give yourself a break with a little much-needed time away. Don’t let your epilepsy interfere with your travel plans! People with epilepsy may need to do a little extra planning before hitting the highway, but it’s worth making the trip. Here are just follow a few simple tips from the Epilepsy Foundation to keep yourself safe on the road, in the air, and wherever your travels take you!

1. Don’t travel alone.If you have frequent seizures or experience loss of consciousness, confusion, or changes in behavior during or after a seizure, you should probably have a companion with you. Your companion should know what to do in case of a seizure and should be able to explain to others around you what is happening, especially if you are flying. Added bonus: you’ll make tons of memories together, and your trip could be a lot more fun if you have someone to share it with.

2. Choose your mode of transportation wisely. Consider your type and frequency of seizures when making travel arrangements. Most people with epilepsy should be able to travel safely by air, but it might be helpful for them to carry a doctor’s letter. The letter should state that the person can fly safely and give the flight crew a few guidelines in case of a seizure during the trip.

3. Keep up with medications. Carry at least a day’s supply with you at all times. If you are flying, pack two sets of medication – one in the bags you check and one in your carry-on. That way, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll have backup. Store and carry medications in properly labeled bottles to avoid any unnecessary issues with airport security. Pay attention to time zone changes, and carefully plan so that you don’t miss a dose. Talk to your doctor to plan out a medication schedule and to decide how much to pack.

4. Take precautions if you have a VNS. A vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device is a small battery or generator that is implanted in the chest wall and sends pulses of electrical energy to the brain to prevent seizures. As airport security has recently become stricter, they are likely to question this piece of equipment. To avoid any unnecessary delays, carry your VNS registration card with you and have your doctor include an explanation of the device in their letter.

5. Wear a medical alert bracelet. If you have epilepsy, you should be wearing a medical ID bracelet at all times – and it is especially important when you are traveling. Medical personnel should immediately be alerted to your condition so they can treat you as quickly and effectively as possible in the event of an emergency. When you are away from your doctor, family, and friends who understand your condition, a medical ID is essential. We recommend engraving your epilepsy alert bracelet like this:

 

FIRST AND LAST NAME

EPILEPSY OR MEDICAL CONDITION

MEDICATIONS AND ALLERGIES

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER

DR. PHONE NUMBER

Epilepsy doesn’t define you, and it shouldn’t define your summer vacation plans, either. However, you don’t want to take any chances when traveling – so be sure to follow these tips and talk to your doctor before you plan a big trip. Don't leave home without your medical ID bracelet. Visit www.LaurensHope.com and choose a medical ID bracelet or necklace that will keep you safe in style!


Comments

Thank you for doing a blog post about "Safe Traveling with Epilepsy." I like the tips-very informative. :)
Posted @ Thursday, August 04, 2011 11:42 AM by Kayla Kidwell
I'm glad you found this post helpful, Kayla! There is so much to think about when traveling with this condition.
Posted @ Friday, August 05, 2011 8:32 AM by Emily
As with any other condition, the use of common sense plays an important factor.  
 
 
 
Even staying up to date with your medications AND taking them as your  
 
 
 
doctor prescribes, be sure that the  
 
 
 
one who travels with you knows what  
 
 
 
to do and what NOT to do. Advise them to move you to a flat surface  
 
 
 
if you do have a seizure and do NOT  
 
 
 
try to hold you down.  
 
 
 
This act within itself can actually  
 
 
 
hurt you more than help. I have  
 
 
 
been a nurse for more than 30 years  
 
 
 
now and the main thing is to let you have the seizure, being sure you do not hurt yourself. By holding down a person having a seizure has and can break bones.  
 
 
 
The second thing to be sure the  
 
 
 
companion knows is that likely, you  
 
 
 
will sleep after a seizure (depending on what type of seizure  
 
 
 
you had). Let it happen naturally  
 
 
 
and sleep as long as your body  
 
 
 
desires. This is very important.  
 
 
 
It could be from only a minute or two to an hour or more.  
 
 
 
This is your body's way of "re-grouping" itself ~ and you probably will not remember the  
 
 
 
seizure.  
 
 
 
As usual, Lauren's Hope comes  
 
 
 
through with some very important  
 
 
 
things to do, not to do, and most  
 
 
 
important, brings up conditions we  
 
 
 
take for granted. Good luck on your time before the summer ends, and stay cool.  
 
 
 
Thanks,  
 
 
 
Linda
Posted @ Friday, August 05, 2011 12:28 PM by Linda
Emily, Thank you for sharing these useful tips! It's important to plan for any trip and having this wonderful list of things to remember when traveling with epilepsy is very helpful. I will print this list and use it next month.
Posted @ Friday, August 05, 2011 1:13 PM by Schoene
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