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July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTM), a leading manufacturer of innovative dialysis products, congratulates Home Dialyzors United (HDU) for its work with the Department of Transportation that led to the issuing of Industry Guidance regarding transport of portable dialysis machines by air travelers with disabilities. This guidance, sent to all airlines under the Agency's jurisdiction, specifies that portable dialysis machines, belonging to travelers with disabilities, are to be checked on commercial flights free of charge.
The timing of this guidance change was key to help dialyzors with their summer travel schedules.
"This is a huge victory for home dialyzors who travel by air with their dialysis machines," says
Rich Berkowitz, HDU founder and president. "With almost 40,000 people in the U.S. today doing dialysis at home using some form of portable machine, this written guidance ensures that their travel experiences can be simpler and less frustrating. Dialyzors now can rest assured knowing that they will be able to carry their life-saving dialysis devices free of charge without discrimination, and that carriers will not inadvertently demand payment of high freight charges to carry their machines in the plane's cargo holds."
Many home dialyzors have had problems traveling with portable dialysis machines such as the NxStage System One™ although the Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination based upon a person's disability. In the past portable dialysis machines were considered "assistive devices" per the Act (14 CFR Part 382). Without a clear definition regarding portable dialysis machines, traveling dialysis patients often faced hurdles with the airlines. At a minimum, the check-in process could be frustrating and long. Some patients were charged exorbitant fees while some were even denied being allowed to board the plane at all. This accomplishment by the HDU organization will help ease the financial burden and stress home dialyzors used to face when traveling on commercial airlines