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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 13 Sep 2013
Travelling with a heart disease can be fatal if you aren’t prepared for any eventuality. With exceptions for those with a severe heart condition, travelling is advisable only when you are in stable health. Of course there might be times when the heart condition itself is a reason to travel. In case you can’t avoid but travel, take a few minutes to read about what you should take care of during the journey to ensure that you stay healthy and safe.
Points To Remember while Travelling with a Heart Disease
Here are the top 5 things that you should keep in mind before packing your bags to travel with a heart disease:
- Know Your Destination
While planning your travel, conduct some research on your destination. Plan your stay at places that have easy access to healthcare facilities. It is advisable to avoid travelling to hilly areas, high altitude locations and places with extreme weather conditions.
- Mode Of Travel
In a research paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was stated that there are several risk factors associated with air travel for a heart patient. The patient may develop venous thrombosis, a condition that involves the formation of blood clots in the veins of the leg, pelvis, or arms due to sitting for long hours in a plane. Lower oxygen and dehydration may also add to this medical condition. Air travel is not recommended within two weeks of a heart attack. If you have undergone an angioplasty, try to travel after one week of the procedure to bring down the risks associated with air travel.
For those with a pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillators (ICD), it is advisable to take special care during the metal-detector security clearance at the airport. If possible, request for a hand search to avoid any complications.
In case you are travelling by road, make sure you stop every hour and take a 5 to 10 minutes brisk walk to ensure that your blood circulation is maintained. Avoid long drives at one go. It is better to plan your journey with several breaks in between.
- Carry Your Medication
Keeping all essential prescribed medication in sufficient amounts is important while travelling with a heart disease. If possible, label the medicines and keep them all together in a handy bag that can be accessed immediately when the need arises.
- Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
It is advisable to avoid any alcoholic beverages during travel. Keep yourself hydrated with ample supply of water. Having plenty of fluids prevents blood clots and hence lowers the chances of a heart attack.
- Keep Your Doctor’s Contact Numbers Handy
Keep the contact numbers of your doctor and/or healthcare advisor handy so that you or a fellow traveler can call for help, if needed. Keep a family member informed over the phone while you are travelling.
You can also consider buying travel insurance before starting out on a journey. This saves you from paying heavy hospital bills in case you need hospitalization during the trip. You are also spared any delay in treatment and unwanted stress in the event of hospitalization.
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