Travel Medicine / Vaccination / Immunization Expert Forum
UK visitor to the USA
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Questions in the Travel Medicine forum are answered by Dr. Philip D Parks, affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health. Topics covered include disease prevention, finding a doctor abroad, food and water safety, illness and injury abroad, mosquito and tick protection, resources for travelers, traveling with children or pets, traveling with special needs, vaccinations and immunizations.

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UK visitor to the USA

I am currently in Titusville near Florida with my husband on a minimum tour of 12 months travelling the USA and Canada. In 1998 I had a total gastrectomy and have been having regular 8 weekly B12 shots in the UK. My doctor has for this trip supplied me with a letter which outlines my medical history and medication regime. I know from my passed history and current symptoms that I need to have a shot as it has been 12 weeks since the last one. Could someone please advise a UK visitor of the best means or way of obtaining a B12 injection.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
I agree with the posting above.

https://online.epocrates.com/u/10a1879 - is a link for information about the Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) injection.


~ Dr. Parks

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see a physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
6 Comments
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172023_tn?1334675884
I'm guessing you could go to an Urgent Care or walk in clinic in any city with the letter describing your medical history and get one.  Of course, you would have to pay cash for the visit and the B12.  

Did you purchase any travel health insurance plan before you left?  That's always a good idea, and might cover this situation, although I'm sure that varies by the type of policy.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your advise which we followed today...Unfortunately, the walk in clinic referred us to the local hospital, who then told us to go to the emergency part of the hospital. We filled out the forms, waiting patiently for almost 3 hours, saw a doctor who had to check if they had B.12 available at the hospital!! Eventually we were successful and had the jab, hopefully by tomorrow when the jab kicks in I won't feel so bad about the expense or the 4 hours it took. Just on the holiday insurance point, I am not covered as it is a pre-diagnosed condition. My husband asked the nurse, who gave the injection, if she was in my position touring around long term, what would she do? She said she did not know what she would do. Good job we Brits can laugh in testing times........
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thank you for sharing your experience and I congratulate you on your persistence.

What are your plans for your next injection?

What do you think would have happened if an American walked into an UK emergency department and they needed a B12 injection?

I hope you are feeling better already or will be feeling the effects soon.

Stay well.

~ Dr. Parks
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Avatar_f_tn
For my next injection I am considering obtaining B12 either by prescription (obtained via an American G.P.) or the internet and my husband will administer the injection.

When I visited the clinic and hospital the staff were not interested in my medical history notes that my ( G.P.) doctor had taken the trouble to prepare.

An American citizen with my history visiting a UK emergency unit would after consulting BOTH her notes and the patient would I'm sure, have received the B12 injection possibly free of charge or a small charge may have been incurred for this relatively inexpensive drug.

May I please add that it was NOT my choice to attend an hospital emergency unit, your American in the UK would have been referred to what we call a General Practitioner ( G.P.) where a nurse would have administered it.

Thank you for your personal reply.

Pat1836
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370793_tn?1201732177
Hi Pat.

Great advice from the involved consultants.  I may offer a bit more targeted information to your needs.

Preparing for travel has been one of our areas of excellence and the operation of aeromedical en medical evacuation services globally, gices us the reach and the experience to get to other"secrets"

In this case, most cities in the US and 75 other countries have specialized MD's who deal with the travellers' needs.  It's called the International Society of Travel Medicine, of which we are members.
I include a link where you can see by city, state and zip code, who would be closer to you.  The other alternative is to call the main hotel in town and see if they have a hotel physician who would no doubt, see you without problems.

And oh....in the US, most travelers' clinics are managed and operated by Nurses.  They usually have a Medical Director ready to assist.

Here is the My link:  http://aeromedicina.org
and the ISTM List of Physician's  
http://www.istm.org/clinicdr/clinicdir.aspx

Good luck and enjoy your holiday...but keep us in mind for any further information.

Manny Nunez
Director
Medical AirXpress, Air Zmbulance
California USA
http://aeromedicina.org
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