When going on a well-deserved getaway, bad situations are probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, medical emergencies happen unexpectedly, and they don’t spare anyone. It’s essential to prepare ahead to save yourself from additional frustration should these emergencies arise.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for a medical emergency abroad.
Learn the language
You don’t have to be fluent in the language of the country you’re visiting. But learning a few common phrases can come in handy when you’re facing an unanticipated situation abroad.
The easiest option is to use a translator app on your mobile device. However, it doesn’t hurt to memorise a few emergency phrases just in case. Learn how to say phrases like “Please help me” and “Call the ambulance” to communicate urgency to those around you.
Prepare a first aid kit
Make sure to pack all your supplements, prescriptions and medication for common ailments. It’s also good to pack bandages and medicated ointments, especially if you’ll be doing a fair amount of physical activity. Having these supplies prepared will save you from scrambling to get to the nearest pharmacy should you get ill or injured.
You should also list down your allergies, medical history and prescription medication to show the healthcare provider or pharmacist if you do end up consulting one.
Know where the healthcare facilities are located
Before leaving for your trip, do your research on where the nearest healthcare facilities are to your hotel. It’s also useful to note the facilities near to places that you plan to visit. Take down the addresses and telephone numbers of these facilities, and carry this information with you during your trip. Additionally, mark these places on a physical map or save it on your phone’s map.
If possible, research on healthcare facilities where the healthcare providers can speak English as well, so that you can communicate with more ease.
Get travel insurance
In case of an accident or health emergency, travel insurance is crucial so that you won’t be stranded having to pay out of pocket. Travel insurance is a lifesaver during unanticipated medical emergencies. Some plans even provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
Suppose you happen to be in a more serious condition. In that case, you will need to have the contact of a medical evacuation provider readily available so your health is not in danger. Medical evacuation can be carried out by a fully-equipped air ambulance to transport you back home or to a facility that has the capacity to treat you.
Consult a doctor before your trip
Visit your physician at least a month before your trip with information about where you’re travelling to, your planned activities and medical history. Your doctor can then advise you on any medication or vaccinations you may need prior to visiting your destination.
It’s essential to keep up-to-date with your vaccinations to prevent any illness that you may be at risk for when visiting another country.
While your trip may go completely smoothly without any hiccups, it’s always better to be prepared. Emergencies will be much easier to handle when you prepare ahead and know what to expect.