Travel can seem daunting if you, or people you care for, rely on blood or blood products. While there are some rules you may have to follow, and some arrangements to make in advance, there's no reason why you can't take a trip.

Requirements differ depending on what kind of treatment you receive, and whether you're travelling domestically or internationally. You may need permits to travel overseas with certain products. You should also check with your treating clinician about how to store and carry any medication while travelling.

Blood transfusions

If you need regular transfusions to manage your health, ask your doctor about a transfusion schedule that can help you avoid emergencies while you're away.

If you will be away for a while, you might need to organise transfusions at your destination. Do this well in advance of your trip. Your doctor or treatment team can help with this.

Keep in mind that not all countries have such a safe and secure supply of blood and blood products as we do in Australia.

Haemophilia treatment

If you usually receive your treatment at a Haemophilia Treatment Centre (HTC), you may be able to visit an interstate HTC to get your treatment away from home. You will need to arrange this before you travel.

Contact your HTC as early as possible. The staff can help with travel preparations that are tailored to your situation. This can include advising you about:

  • carrying medication, including ensuring you have the correct documents
  • what to do if you need treatment while you're travelling
  • where you can get emergency treatment on the way or at your destination.

Get more information from Haemophilia Foundation Australia:

Immunoglobulin treatment

If you have regular infusions of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg), you will need to plan ahead.

Intravenous immunoglobulin

You may be able to arrange IVIg treatment at an interstate or overseas facility if you have regular infusions at a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or outpatient clinic. Discuss this with your treatment team well before you go.

Subcutaneous immunoglobulin

The length of your trip will influence your options if you're regularly self-infusing with a SCIg product.

For short trips, taking all your SCIg products and consumables with you may be possible. Keep in mind that some SCIg products must be stored at certain temperatures. Check the specifics of your product and plan accordingly. You may need to organise special containers.

You may be able to have an infusion of IVIg before you go and after you return rather than self-infuse SCIg products while you are away. However, this depends on the time you'll be away.

For longer travel periods, taking all your SCIg products and consumables with you may not be feasible. If travelling within Australia, you may be able to arrange to pick them up from another hospital or facility.

Always discuss your plans and options available with your doctor or treatment team well before you travel.

If your trip includes flying, check the airline requirements for travelling with medicines. Read our advice below on flying with needles and other consumables and travelling overseas.

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has a travel plan document for patients on SCIg therapy(Opens in a new tab/window).

Flying with needles and other consumables

If you need to carry consumables related to your treatment, like needles and syringes, ensure you have enough for your whole domestic or overseas trip. It may not be possible to get more at your destination.

If you're flying with needles and syringes in your carry-on luggage, you'll need a document from your treating clinician stating you medically require them.

You'll need to show the needles, syringes and supporting documents to security officers at the airport screening checkpoint. You'll also need to show them to the crew before boarding the plane.

Check with your airline before you travel in case there is anything else you need to do. Other medical devices, such as battery-operated devices, may be restricted on board.

If you're going on a cruise ship, check specific requirements with your cruise line.

Travelling overseas with blood or blood products

You're not allowed to leave Australia with any amount of human blood or blood products without an export permit from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This includes Ig products, serum eye drops and other products such as factors VII, VIII and IX.

Find out how to apply for a TGA export permit(Opens in a new tab/window).

Some products are made from recombinant technology, not human blood. Recombinant products are synthetic and do not require a TGA export permit.

Check if your product is recombinant or human plasma-derived by asking your doctor or finding it on the National Product Price List.

Other things to think about

Talk to your treating team as soon as you can before any international travel. Apart from the TGA permit, you may also need to:

  • make sure your blood product can be taken out of Australia
  • carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor that lists your blood products and treatment regime.

You may need a permit to enter your destination country, so check their requirements. Ask your doctor and check the destination's health advice on Smartraveller(Opens in a new tab/window).

Exact requirements will depend on your destinations and the type of product, medication or treatment you need.

Consider whether:

  • you can have treatment before and after you travel rather than carrying it with you
  • you understand how your medication must be stored and transported
  • your medication is suitable for travel, for example, if it has specific storage requirements
  • you need to speak to your doctor about changing medications
  • your medication is legal in the countries you're going to
  • there are limits on how much medication you can take into a country, even with a prescription
  • you need letters from your treatment team to carry related consumables, such as needles and syringes
  • you can get travel insurance that covers your condition.

Longer trips

If you're travelling for long periods or living temporarily overseas, we may be able to arrange to get blood products to you. This includes Australians serving overseas and in international waters, such as:

  • Australian Defence Force members
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade employees
  • Australian Antarctic Division staff
  • Australians involved in medical retrieval operations overseas.

We can only do this for up to 12 months in any rolling 24-month period. This time limit ensures you get proper clinical oversight of your treatment.

Contact us at least 3 months before you travel to apply for overseas supply of blood products.

You are responsible for all costs of shipping and storing your blood products.


We may collect personal information about you when you apply to travel overseas. This is so that we can make sure you can continue to receive the product you need

Find out how we manage your privacy.

Get in touch

For more information, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

Back to top