Can You Travel After A Bone Marrow Transplant?

After how long can one travel after the bone marrow transplant?

Generally, it is safe to travel in most of the conditions. However, people undergoing certain types of treatment that can result in deep vein thrombosis or anything leading to change in the pressure or oxygen concentration in the plane’s cabin. One must consider the following recommendations before deciding to travel abroad after a transplant:

 

Get advice from your doctor - This is the very first thing, one must consult his/her doctor. Talk to your oncologist and also a doctor who is experienced in travel medicine, to check if you are fit to fly. Depending upon your condition, you may be advised to stay,  choose a developed country instead of a developing one, or fly to a domestic destination where medical provision is easily accessible.

Plan the trip much ahead of time - One must have ample amount of time before traveling. The patients may need to get over any complications or make protective measures such as vaccinations or medical documentation.

Ask about vaccinations - Vaccinations are a significant part of traveling to prevent the most commonly occurring infections in your destination place. The type of vaccines that you require will depend on one of your medical condition, the place you are traveling to, and the recent treatment regime. For example, there are certain vaccines, known as ‘live vaccines’, which might not be recommended to those who already have a weak immune system or those who have recently undergone chemotherapy. The live vaccines in the UK include:

  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • BCG  (Tuberculosis)
  • Yellow fever
  • Oral typhoid
  • shingles

 

It is usually safe to interact with people who have had live vaccinations. However, there is a minute risk from those who have taken the live vaccines by mouth. For example, the rotavirus vaccine given to babies. The rotavirus can be transferred within 2 weeks after getting the vaccines. Therefore, one needs to wash hands and avoid changing nappies if possible. Another live vaccine by mouth in the UK is oral typhoid vaccination.

The good news is that inactivated vaccination is a safe option. It contains a killed virus or bacteria. However, these might not function well if you have a weakened immune system. Some of the inactive vaccination given as a mandatory action in most of the bone marrow transplant hospitals in India are:

  1. Flu vaccine
  2. Hepatitis A and B
  3. Cholera
  4. Typhoid
  5. Tick born encephalitis
  6. Japanese encephalitis
  7. Tetanus, polio, and diphtheria
  8. Rabies
  9. Meningitis

 

Some other measures to prevent infections after the treatment are listed below.

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