What if you’re in a foreign country and get injured while doing an activity or come down with an illness or have a heart attack? You’re far from home and your primary care doctors in unfamiliar surroundings. What would you do? Who would you call? Where would you go? Well, one of the best things you can do is be prepared for such emergencies before you even leave on your trip.
We recommend checking with your insurance company before you go on your trip. Find out if your insurance covers you while traveling abroad. If it doesn’t, you may want to buy a short term policy that does cover you. If you are enrolled in Medicare, keep in mind that Medicare doesn’t cover you outside the U.S.
Be sure to have your insurance cards with you at all times. If you suffer from a pre-existing condition, make sure you have a note in your wallet or purse stating what the condition is and what medications you take, as well as any allergies you have to medications.
If you become seriously ill and don’t know where to go, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate. They should be able to help you find a hospital and contact your family. You can find the local U.S. Embassy at: http://www.usembassy.gov/
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeing a doctor right away if you:
Have diarrhea AND a high fever (above 102° F)
Have bloody diarrhea
Are visiting a malaria-risk area and become sick with a fever or flu-like illness
Are bitten or scratched by an animal
Have been in a car accident
Have been seriously injured
Are sexually assaulted
If you’re sick on a plane or cruise ship notify the crew immediately. They may need to re-direct the ship or plane to get you to help if the condition is serious.
When eating foods abroad be careful of unpasteurized dairy foods, seafood, unsealed mayonnaise and undercooked meat and eggs. The most common digestive problem is from drinking water. Try to stick to unopened, bottled water. In some countries you’ll need to boil water.
For travel to certain countries, you need to get the appropriate vaccinations weeks before you go. You can check the CDC’s website for what shots you may need, depending on where you’re traveling.
What if you’re seriously injured and need to be transported back to the U.S.? Keep Angel MedFlight’s number with you in your wallet or purse when traveling. We hope you never have to use it, but if the worse case happens and you or your loved one is sick and needs a medical flight back to the U.S. all you’ll have to do is make one call to Angel MedFlight and we’ll handle the rest of the details for you. Our RN/Case Manager Flight Coordinators will contact your insurance company on your behalf and coordinate your medical flight. Keep our number with you at all times, because accidents and emergencies can happen anywhere. We can be reached 24/7 year round at 877-264-3570 or for international dialing 1+480-247-4603 and at www.AngelMedFlight.com.