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Blood test onboard ship

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I will be needing to check my INR while onboard the Solstice.  I know they can do this test but was wondering if anyone has had it checked and any idea of the cost.  My health insurance probably will not cover any of it.  Thanks

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 I’m going from memory here… As I have now been on Eliquis for just over a year and no longer require INR testing on cruises... thank goodness!   If I recall, celebrity was one of the more expensive ones...  but only because they required that I have a doctor visit first and that ran about $120, and then the test itself I think was about 40. But I might be confusing that with other cruise lines as well.  

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24 minutes ago, nunuc2000 said:

 I’m going from memory here… As I have now been on Eliquis for just over a year and no longer require INR testing on cruises... thank goodness!   If I recall, celebrity was one of the more expensive ones...  but only because they required that I have a doctor visit first and that ran about $120, and then the test itself I think was about 40. But I might be confusing that with other cruise lines as well.  

Thanks, just gives me an idea anyway.  I have travel insurance with medical so they might cover a little bit but at least I have an idea.  That darn drink package messes with my numbers 🤣🤣

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My wife had to have an INR check a while ago on a cruise and the cost was $70. Could have changed by now but that was what we were charged. 

 

Den

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1 hour ago, Denny01 said:

My wife had to have an INR check a while ago on a cruise and the cost was $70. Could have changed by now but that was what we were charged. 

 

Den

 

I believe that's what I was quoted this past spring when I called and asked about it ahead of time (however, never got around to having it done).

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I never knew they could do blood tests on the ship.  Does anyone know if they do blood cell counts (% red, white neuclophiles  etc).  If so I could rethink how long I am willing to cruise for.

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Look into getting a home testing kit. My mom lives on an island (no bridge access) and can't get to the mainland for a weekly blood draw. Her insurance approved her for a home INR testing machine. It's just like a blood sugar machine for diabetics. If you could show that you won't have access to a clinic or dr's office, your insurance may pay for you to have a machine when you cruise. 

 

She's only needed to see the ship's dr once on all of our cruises... her INR was over 3.0 so we went down. They confirmed the reading and adjusted her medication for the rest of the week. I remember it was in the $100 range. It was the same cruise that I had a bad allergic reaction to something and ended up spending some time there myself. That cost significantly more. LOL I started the 5 page insurance claim and gave up. My invoice did not have any of the information required... like name of the doctor, nurse, diagnosis codes, etc. If you DO go to the doc onboard, gather as much information as you possibly can before leaving the ship!!! 

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3 hours ago, fragilek said:

I never knew they could do blood tests on the ship.  Does anyone know if they do blood cell counts (% red, white neuclophiles  etc).  If so I could rethink how long I am willing to cruise for.


It’s not a matter of whether they can do a CBC/diff(neutrophils etc)  on a ship...it’s what are you going to do about the results?

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50 minutes ago, wendychloecruiser said:


It’s not a matter of whether they can do a CBC/diff(neutrophils etc)  on a ship...it’s what are you going to do about the results?

I am down to 3 months testing now - but don't like to go away for more than a few weeks in case I start to have symptoms of relapse (this fear is something I am working on ).  I get tested the week before I go anywhere and only travel with docs and insurance buy in.  But I am too frightened to travel away for longer than 2 weeks (self imposed not doctors orders lol).  However, I would like to do longer adventures but would be happier knowing that there is a stand by of a blood test if I feel I need one.

Having to act on the test results would be an issue - however, I plan carefully where I am going (docs do put restraints on places) and the standard of treatment I can obtain if the worst was to happen.

There is obviously a risk in being away from my hospital team but I fought pretty hard to be here and intend to enjoy my 2nd chance and for me travel is a big part of that.

Edited by fragilek
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8 minutes ago, fragilek said:

I am down to 3 months testing now - but don't like to go away for more than a few weeks in case I start to have symptoms of relapse (this fear is something I am working on ).  I get tested the week before I go anywhere and only travel with docs and insurance buy in.  But I am too frightened to travel away for longer than 2 weeks (self imposed not doctors orders lol).  However, I would like to do longer adventures but would be happier knowing that there is a stand by of a blood test if I feel I need one.

Having to act on the test results would be an issue - however, I plan carefully where I am going (docs do put restraints on places) and the standard of treatment I can obtain if the worst was to happen.

There is obviously a risk in being away from my hospital team but I fought pretty hard to be here and intend to enjoy my 2nd chance and for me travel is a big part of that.


I sincerely hope that one day soon that you can leave all your cares behind and have a true vacation that you don’t have to worry about anything at all.  Cruising is good for that...just sitting on a balcony watching the waves...

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2 hours ago, wendychloecruiser said:


It’s not a matter of whether they can do a CBC/diff(neutrophils etc)  on a ship...it’s what are you going to do about the results?

After taking my wife’s info, the ship sent results to our Dr at home and the office responded back to the ship Dr with her blood number history and that all was OK and she’d not need another test until home. This means you should have the email/fax number for your Dr Office. She normally gets a test every month unless the numbers make a consistent change.

 

No, the ‘data’ isn’t really for her, but for her Dr to decide what the level of blood thinner is needed and going on cruises with a lot of exercising (lots of walking!) and in menus, the numbers may change. Usually no checks are required during a cruise. the only reason we’d take one was if the numbers were in flex prior and the Dr wanted to track it closer and that’s decided prior to leaving.

 

BUT (I hate using all caps but am emphasizing this) each situation differs so each of us needs to check with their medical team on how to handle all of this. But the point is, most cruise ships can and do these tests. And as most people who take blood thinners, we are well aware of where we are going to and options. Heck, we take river cruises which do not have facilities on board, but visit major cities so just be aware of options and your particular case.

 

Den

 

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If this test is to check to see if your blood thinner is working, why not changed to a drug that does not need monitoring. I was on blood thinners for 3 years and never had to get tested. I traveled all over the world with work and vacations.

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1 hour ago, bigbenboys said:

If this test is to check to see if your blood thinner is working, why not changed to a drug that does not need monitoring. I was on blood thinners for 3 years and never had to get tested. I traveled all over the world with work and vacations.

Cost is the big reason. The newer blood thinners that do not require testing can be very expensive.   I was on Brilintta for 18 months, no testing needed but the cost was close to $300 per month.  I stayed with it and paid the cost because my cardiologist said it was really the best one for me. 

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1 hour ago, bigbenboys said:

If this test is to check to see if your blood thinner is working, why not changed to a drug that does not need monitoring. I was on blood thinners for 3 years and never had to get tested. I traveled all over the world with work and vacations.

For some a change of medication is just not an option. My DH is on Warfarin and has been for 9 years. He gets tested regularly and was told about the "new" drug Apixaban  or Eliquis, but in order to change he would have to stop his current treatment and that is just too large a health risk.

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4 hours ago, bigbenboys said:

If this test is to check to see if your blood thinner is working, why not changed to a drug that does not need monitoring. I was on blood thinners for 3 years and never had to get tested. I traveled all over the world with work and vacations.

Not to get into a deep medical discussion, but some types of issues that require blood thinners cannot take the drugs that dont need monitoring. If you see those ads they say that med is not for those taking blood thinners for heart valve replacements. 

 

Life when she was too young for a bovine valve and required a mechanical one, which fortunately lasts for an extended time, but requires warfarin and cant take Eliquis and so on. 

 

Den

 

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10 hours ago, MEcruzr said:

My invoice did not have any of the information required... like name of the doctor, nurse, diagnosis codes, etc. If you DO go to the doc onboard, gather as much information as you possibly can before leaving the ship!!! 

Good advice! The MD I saw when I had an incident onboard asked what insurance I had and said she would make sure all of the necessary info was on the invoice and thought it would be paid because it was BC/BS.  BC/BS paid every penny of it - I assumed that there would be a back and forth a few times and that I might get nothing, so was pleased.

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Yes, for me the new drugs are not an option.  The home monitoring machine after my insurance was still quite expensive.  My local lab test costs under $2 per test.  The machine and all the supplies were almost $1000.  I will check again when I hit Medicare 👏🏼👏🏼

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