Are you planning a trip or vacation? If you have heart disease, it’s especially important to do some advance planning.
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“By preparing well, you can focus on enjoying yourself,” says Benico Barzilai, MD, Head of Clinical Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic.
Also, he says it’s important not to ignore symptoms, whether at home or on the road. “Be smart. Be sure to seek emergency room treatment should you have any chest pain, signs of a heart attack, or other symptoms of heart disease.”
Here are 5 important tips to get you ready for your trip:
1. Talk with your doctor
Depending on your condition, it may make sense to visit your doctor before your trip. Definitely, do so if you are having any new symptoms or if you’ve had a recent procedure or hospitalization to be sure that traveling is safe for you.
Some information you may need before leaving includes:
- Doctor contact. Ask your cardiologist for a doctor to contact (or research the closest medical center in your travel location) in case of problems.
- Copy of your electrocardiogram. If you have an irregular heartbeat, ask your doctor for a copy of your electrocardiogram (ECG). It helps if you have access to an electronic medical record, such as MyChart.
- Immunization records. Be sure to have any immunizations required for the country you’re visiting. Also, make sure you’re up to date on your immunization and antimalarial recommendations. You may want to visit a travel clinic before you go.
Check your insurance coverage and make sure it will cover you where you are traveling. Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance if your health insurance doesn’t cover medical evacuation.
2. Plan for your medications
Make sure you will have enough medication to get you through the entire trip…