Traveling with heart disease? This is what you should keep in mind
Travel should be fun ! To ensure that heart patients can enjoy their vacation without endangering their health, they should plan their trip well.
With heart disease on vacation? Who may travel?
The good news right from the start: even people with heart problems do not usually have to avoid traveling. In principle, however, those affected should always consult their doctor as to whether and when travel is possible or not. This is the only way to avoid risks due to overstressing or misjudgement. The first clue as to whether a trip is advisable is the question of how resilient you are. In general: The physical capacity should not be significantly limited. Certain heart operations and illnesses should be a certain time ago in order to be able to travel safely on vacation:
– Dilatation of the coronary arteries, insertion of a defibrillator or a pacemaker should usually be 1-2 weeks prior to the start of travel. Short-term trips are possible, but should be discussed with the attending physician/cardiologist. – A heart attack or heart surgery should be 2-4 weeks ago.
Heart patients should be examined again about three weeks before the trip to check the stability of the disease and possibly change the medication.
The right destination for heart patients
When choosing the right vacation destination, heart patients should consider the change of climate and time. Without precautions, very high temperatures can cause circulatory collapse or cardiac arrhythmias in people who are already stressed. Stays at high altitudes can put too much strain on the heart muscle. In the worst case, lead to a heart attack. Tropical and subtropical, arctic and subarctic climates are generally not recommended for cardiac patients because they stress the cardiovascular system too much. It makes more sense to choose a climate zone to which your body is already accustomed. Optimal travel times for heart patients are spring and fall.
Preparation is everything!
Your doctor has given you the green light regarding your heart health? Great! Then you should now clarify the following further questions together:
– Is the selected vacation destination also suitable for your particular illness?? – What cardiological care is available at the vacation destination? – Which particular stresses should be avoided (e.g.B. Altitudes above 2.000 meters)? – Are all important vaccinations present (u.a. tetanus)? And are special travel vaccinations necessary? – What is the current corona situation in the travel destination and what entry regulations apply?
Vacation in corona times
A carefree travel time is not this Corona summer. Both entry and return regulations may change at short notice. Very recently, the German government has decided on mandatory testing for unvaccinated vacation returnees. When returning from countries with worrisome virus variants, this even applies to vaccinated persons. In order to have a few relaxing days, you should always inform yourself about the rules that apply at your destination, about travel warnings and about any quarantine obligations when you return home. You can find out what is currently in force in which country on the website of the German Foreign Office, or you can obtain information from your tour operator or local authorities.
Many hotels have also increased their security measures during the Corona pandemic. Before booking, find out what cleaning and disinfection procedures are used, when and where, and whether staff wear masks. It is also good to know how the hotel's ventilation system works. To reduce contact between guests and staff, many hotels offer online check-in and provide in-room meals.
On site, it is advisable to follow the rules of conduct summarized in the AHA formula:
– Keep a distance (at least 1.5 meters), – Observe hygiene rules (proper coughing, sneezing and thorough hand washing) – and wear a mask in everyday life as well as while traveling.
If you have to stay longer in the vacation country due to an ordered quarantine, you should make sure you have a sufficient supply of necessary medication.
With this checklist you can go on vacation safely even with heart disease :
Once all questions have been clarified, n you should now carefully prepare for the trip:
– Gather your medical records (e.g.B. last surgery, ultrasound or X-ray report) and take them with you to the vacation destination. – Be sure to pack a sufficient amount of prescribed medications (medications should be carried in carry-on luggage to ensure a supply even if your luggage is lost). – Carry a medication schedule with you (z.B. national medication schedule) on which the active ingredient names of your medications are listed. The trade names often differ considerably abroad. – Find out the telephone numbers of doctors, ambulances, clinics and cardiological practices while you are still at home. – Remember your international health insurance, your health insurance documents – and remember: abroad you often have to pay for every treatment in cash in advance. Get repatriation insurance. A travel cancellation insurance.