Summer is a great time. Kids are out of school, weather across the country is generally warm, and there are lots of places to visit. Summer vacations are an American tradition, and this summer is no different. But, for those with afib, the thought of having an afib episode while on the road may seem a little scary. To ensure you have a great time, even with afib, talk with your doctor, develop your travel plans to include his or her advice, plan accordingly, and then go have a good time.
Consulting with a top medical professional such as Dr. Shanti Bansal at the Arrhythmia Center of America is always the best step if you have afib and are planning on traveling. He will be able to help develop a medically-based travel plan specifically for you. The doctors and staff at ACA are always ready to answer questions, set appointments, and discuss any aspect of afib. Contact them at 832-478-5067.
As you prepare for your summer vacation, here are some general travel guidelines which can help both when discussing afib with your doctor and while traveling.
Things you should remember when traveling or when planning your trip include:
- Bring all medications and keep them with you in your carry-on luggage. Include a list of all medications, doses, pharmacy phone numbers, and prescription numbers, as well as your doctor’s name and phone number. This can help you obtain refills should some medications be lost.
- We all tend to rush when vacationing. Avoid this by leaving plenty of time to get to the airport, for visits during sightseeing, for checking in and out of hotels, etc. It is, after all, a vacation and a time to rest and enjoy new places.
- Watch your diet. It’s tempting to overdo when traveling but try to use restraint and stick as close as possible to the nutrition plan you follow at home. Foods may be different and new, so ask about ingredients and try not to overeat.
- Locate and make a record of emergency medical facilities close to your destination. If you are traveling internationally, it is also a good idea to take with you the addresses, phone numbers, and any names for embassies in the locations you plan to visit. Embassies can help with local information, transportation, or medical assistance.
- Ask your doctor about vacationing in high altitude locations. He may suggest temporary lifestyle changes during your visit that will decrease the chances of an afib episode.
- When flying, get up and walk around whenever possible to reduce the chances of clotting. Your doctor may also suggest other measures that can be helpful for clot prevention.
- If you are having regular tests for blood thinners, check with your doctor to see if these tests will be needed while you’re away. If so, locate medical facilities where you can get the tests, along with their phone numbers and addresses.
- It is also a good idea to purchase travel insurance that provides for medical evacuation should an emergency arise. You may not need the coverage, but you can vacation more relaxed knowing you’re protected if something does happen.
You’re number one goal when going on a vacation is, of course, to enjoy the sounds, sights, and atmosphere of your destinations. With thoughtful afib travel planning between you and your doctor, you can take that vacation knowing you’ve done what is necessary. Give Arrhythmia Center of America a call to set an appointment. Talk with one of our doctors about your vacation plans, so you’ll get the most benefits from your travels. Call today, 832-478-5067.