Allergy/Asthma Information Association

Travelling?

By Dr. Antony Ham Pong, Ottawa

Travelling with your allergies can be safe and low stress with proper precautions. Don’t forget to get an authorization letter from your doctor indicating the need to have your epinephrine auto-injectors on you personally. This is especially important outside of North America. A patient who travels frequently through the Hong Kong airport has been stopped twice recently at security, and, when unable to produce a doctor’s letter for her auto-injector, was taken to the side and questioned further. Another patient had a similar experience at an Asian airport even with a travel letter. I was questioned about my EpiPen in Ecuador as their security was unfamiliar with it. At the Asian airport and in Ecuador, the security guards stated that emergency medications were available on the airplane. Do not be fooled by this explanation into giving up your epinephrine auto-injector. If there is epinephrine on the plane, it will be in vials (not auto-injectable) locked away and likely accessible only to a doctor - who may not know the appropriate dose and action plan for immediate epinephrine use for an allergic reaction.

When dining in restaurants, it is useful to look over the entire restaurant menu for the presence of your food allergen, which will alert you to the possibility of cross-contamination. Restaurant warning cards, which are available in different languages, are recommended.

Editor's Note: For restaurant cards in 22 languages go to Next link will open in a new windowwww.allergytranslation.com.
For text in 9 languages go to Next link will open in a new windowwww.foodallergyinitiative.org (click on Downloads).

from Allergy & Asthma News, Issue 1 2008

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