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Old August 12th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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Default Medical facilities on board - Dialysis

My DIL's parents were scheduled to take their first cruise last November and had to cancel. Her mother is now on dialysis. Do you know whether or not the ships are able to accommodate passengers with needs such as this? I really belive they would enjoy a cruise and hate to think that it is unavailable to them.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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Here is an article in tomorrow's LA Times that talks about getting dialysis while at sea and a contact number for a company that arranges the service.

Quote:
Travelers can find dialysis



By Kathleeen Doheny
Times Staff Writer

August 13, 2006

If it's been a long time between vacations, you might feel as though you are chained to work and home responsibilities. For the 300,000 Americans who suffer kidney failure and need dialysis, that tethered feeling is a reality: Without blood-cleansing treatments, they can't survive.

But that doesn't mean they can't take a vacation. In fact, it's encouraged, as long as a dialysis patient is in stable health and other health issues are under control, says Dr. Leslie Spry, a nephrologist in Lincoln, Neb., and a spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation, based in New York.

It's not simple to arrange dialysis while traveling, but it's easier than it used to be, particularly in this country.

"The number of [dialysis] centers certainly has increased, and most people can travel just about any place," Spry says.

Dialysis patients or personnel at their home dialysis center can scout out centers based on destination. Or patients can take package tours or cruises that arrange for dialysis services; some even provide an on call kidney specialist and a team of nurses.

Traveling dialysis patients on Medicare can find Medicare-certified centers at medicare. gov. Medicare certification is an indication of quality, Spry says.

Among commercial Web sites that have directories of dialysis centers : Dialysis Finder, 866-889-6019, dialysisfinder. com, lists centers in the United States; the Britain-based Global Dialysis , globaldialysis.com, lists centers in other countries.

If you are setting up your own dialysis treatments, ask when the clinic is open and what times are available for an appointment. Travelers sometimes are given less-than-ideal appointment schedules, which may end as late as 2 a.m., according to the National Kidney Foundation.

"Passengers can book a cruise and dialysis through us," says Steve Debroux, president and owner of Dialysis at Sea Cruises, 800-544-7604, dialysisatsea.com, a Clearwater, Fla.-based company that provides dialysis services aboard cruise ships.

Each treatment offered on Dialysis at Sea cruises is about $525.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 10:46 PM
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Marc, thank you for sharing this information. It is very helpful.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 01:25 AM
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My father is on dialysis and my parents planned a European cruise with Holland America last year. They boarded the ship and he was scheduled to have his first dialysis at sea done on the second day of their cruise but my dads arm developed a small clot were they do the dialysis at. (common problem) They were not able to do dialysis nor were they set up to clear his vein so they had to disembark and make there way to Copenhagen, to have the surgery and dialysis. Because of this they were not able to take there cruise. What a shock it was when I stopped by there place to check on things and water the plants to see my folks sitting in the house when I showed up there. they were not due home for another 2 1/2 weeks. They never called me or my sister as they didn't want us to worry. Travel insurance came in handy for them. They did have to pay for the dialysis upfront out of pocket on the cruise ship but was to be reimburres through their health insurance company had he been able to do the cruise.

Hope this helps
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Thanks for your report, Darren. I don't know if they would want to try dialysis at sea. I just wanted to show them that there was an option. There are so many things that can go wrong, I don't know if the risks are worth it. My DIL's mother is now checking into the possibility of a transplant. Her kidneys failed very suddenly, after IV steroid treament for rheumatoid arthritis. She is only 52 and had not had any health problems prior to the RA. It has been a shock to the entire family.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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I got an email from someone who had booked a cruise fully expecting the ship would have onboard dialysis. I had to tell them it isn't true. Plus, your medical insurance usually does not cover shipboard med treatments.

Dialysis cruises are set up by companies who specialize in it, and they bring the proper equipment. A great service.
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