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Everyday tips

Travel and transportation

  • Always bring with you the equipment needed to administer enteral nutrition and medications when you are not at home, including a “troubleshooting kit” in case of complications. This equipment contains at least:
    • the nutritional formula (with ice packs if necessary) or the ingredients required to prepare it,
    • medications and a device to crush tablets to powder, if necessary,
    • an oral/enteral feeding syringe or feeding bags,
    • an oral/enteral syringe (to administer medication),
    • an oral/enteral syringe (for irrigation or flushing, after medication administration or feeding),
    • two button extension sets, if applicable,
    • the enteral feeding pump and backpack, if applicable,
    • the power cable for wall outlet, if necessary,
    • a spare nasogastric tube, gastrostomy balloon button or tube for replacement,
    • two urinary catheters, if your child has an ostomy: one the same size and one smaller than your child’s tube or button,
    • water-soluble lubricant,
    • a syringe (for the button balloon or urinary catheter),
    • a thin protective bandage, if appropriate,
    • adhesive bandages,
    • water (for irrigation),
    • towels.
  • Always have an up-to-date list of materials and equipment needed in the travel bag; replace used or missing items. Confirm the frequency of checking expiry dates and equipment status with your healthcare team.
  • Keep the specific instructions of the enteral pump used by your child, if applicable, handy.
  • Keep a resource list close at hand with the names and telephone numbers of hospital, doctors, other members of your child’s healthcare team and equipment providers. Make sure you know how to contact these resources outside of regular hours and during vacations.
  • Before leaving on a trip:
    • always check with your insurance company to see if travel to your destination is covered;
    • check that the appropriate voltage for the enteral feeding pump is available at your destination;
    • make sure you have a document from your healthcare team describing your child’s condition and your child’s needs regarding enteral nutrition along with a complete list of medications;
    • bring enough supplies to last for the duration of the trip and add a bit extra as a reserve;
    • be aware of the presence of suppliers and other resources that may be required while traveling to or from the destination, in case there is equipment breakdown or other health need;
    • plan what to do in case of an emergency (eg, unintentional removal of the tube or button that you cannot change yourself, broken pump, lack of nutritional formula).
  • For travel by airplane:
    • contact the airline company to inquire about their policy concerning the transport of equipment and formula;
    • keep all equipment, formula, medications and documents from your healthcare team with you in the cabin.
  • While traveling: make sure the battery of the enteral feeding pump is fully charged.
  • Discuss with your healthcare team the possibility of using an alternative method of feeding (push, gravity) while traveling.

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A collaboration of clinical experts across Quebec has taken every care to ensure that the information contained in this document is accurate, complete, and reflective of evidence-based practices. However, “Complex care at home for children” collaboration cannot and does not assume any responsibility for application of the content of this document or for any information that may be present in the websites cited as a reference. These web sites are provided for informational purposes only and do not represent the collaboration endorsement of any companies or products. Always consult your child’s physician and/or a qualified healthcare professional to learn more about recommendations specific to your child’s health needs.

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