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Dealing with Emergencies When You Travel

Jan 1, 2008
Even though you'd not probably thinking about emergencies when you're heading out on vacation, you might want to give them a second thought. When you're packing up for your trip, you should also be bringing along plenty of things that will help you avoid any unnecessary trips to the hospital or any undue stress. Vacations are supposed to be calming, not upsetting, after all.

The first thing you will want to do before you travel is to head to your doctor. This is especially true when you have a chronic condition that is being monitored. Have a quick check-up to make sure you are healthy enough to travel and that you have all the medications you might need. Fill those prescriptions right before you go, if you can, and if not, make sure to get a new prescription paper so that you can fill it when you are traveling.

You will also want to pack basic emergency kit in your carryon bag when you travel. This should include the basics: bandages, medical tape, and antiseptic lotion. But it should also include things like anti-diarrhoea medications, pain relievers, and sugary candies. All of these items can help someone ill feel better immediately or at least until they are able to see a doctor if things aren't taking a turn for the better. You will also want to pack anti-motion sickness tablets as well as an ice pack, tweezers, and antibacterial gel.

When you have a medical emergency on your trip, you will need to get help, so it's best to learn how to ask for help in the native language. Even if you can't remember the entire phrase, learning the basic phrase for 'doctor' or 'hospital' will be sufficient. Point at the patient to show what is wrong, using sign language if needs be.

When you have non-life threatening injuries to deal with, you will want to simply go to the nearest hospital to receive care. If it's something simple like a cut, you might be able to bandage it on your own. But if the bleeding is excessive or it's a deep cut that goes beyond the skin, leave that to a medical professional.

Before you leave, talk with everyone who is travelling with you about what you will need to do in case of a medical emergency. This will help everyone be on the same page should something happen, helping to expedite the process and get help quickly.
About the Author
Matt Reider is the manager of CanuckAbroad.com which provides cheap airfare resources, cheap hotel guides and budget travel advice to get the most out of your next vacation!
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