A medical emergency is not one of the things most people plan for when they are going for a vacation. However, if one does occur, it can be a costly and stressful experience, especially if you had not planned. With some advance preparation, you are in a better position to find the required care in case of an injury or illness when traveling within and outside of the U.S, and the tips below will help.
Identify a Local Urgent Care Facility
Before leaving for your vacation, it’s pertinent that you locate some hospitals or medical care facilities around your destination. Some insurance plans even provide their members with lists of in-network medical providers, including care ratings. You also have the option of getting recommendations of medical centers at the destination from your family physician.
In fact, your family physician might also have connections to healthcare facilities and physicians overseas. If you are living with some chronic health condition, it is critical that you find a specialist as soon as you start making your travel plans.
Identify Potential Health Risks
When traveling overseas, find out as much as possible about any disease outbreaks and any safety risks that you are likely to come across at the holiday destination. Some valuable assets are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website as well as the U.S. Department of State.
Visit your current physician or a reputable travel medicine expert at least one and a half months prior to your departure date. During the visit, get any travel immunizations you would require. The checkup is also a chance to identify possible undiagnosed health problems that might require treatment before traveling.
Your Medical Info Portfolio
According to the CT Sinus Center, a medical emergency while on vacation exposes you to inappropriate care or even misdiagnosis. This is because treating physicians don’t have access to your current medical record. However, you can ensure you get the appropriate treatment every time by putting together a portfolio containing all your medical information.
The portfolio should include name and contact info of your current specialists or primary care physician, a list of medical conditions you have, and medications you are currently taking. In addition, include information about allergies, as well as treatments you’ve undergone for serious conditions like cancer and heart attack. Remember to include information on surgeries you have a hand as well as your complete immunization record.
Include emergency contacts and make use of In Case of Emergency (ICE) apps on your phone for easy access by emergency personnel or physicians. The Universal Electronic Medical Record can also be a great option for your consideration. This secure record is maintained online, giving physicians around the world access to your medical records during treatment.
Confirm Health Insurance Coverage
Get in touch with the health insurer for information on travel coverage. Some plans might be limited or offer no coverage outside the network. You might consider buying into a travel medical insurance as well as a medical evacuation coverage that covers travel even within the country, including foot and ankle surgeons in NJ, for example.
At some point in their lives, many people are likely to find themselves to situations where if anything can go wrong, does eventually go wrong. Often, you are probably too stressed, excited, or concerned with getting everything and everyone ready for the upcoming vacation that you forget preparing for unexpected emergencies. Just like preparing for an emergency at school, work, or home, it is vital that you prepare for medical emergencies while on vacation, and the tips above will ensure that you are!