Evacuation & Care
Not all those who wander are lost – J. R. R. Tolkien
image by: Tatransky
Finding a health professional or medical facility while traveling is usually at the bottom of our travel plans but it never hurts to be prepared, especially if you are medically challenged. Here's some tips from Global Rescue...
1. Have the ability to call for help, know how to call for help, and know where you would want to go for help. Outside of the U.S., dialing “911” does not work. Have a way to call for help: a local cell phone or SAT phone. Consider bringing an extra battery or portable charger for your phone or, if you have a smart phone, buying a battery phone case (such as Mophie) that will extend your phone’s battery life to avoid being caught with no way to communicate in an emergency. Know how to dial that number based on international calling configurations, and what number to call for emergency medical services.
2. Know your health insurance policy and service coverage. Know in advance whether your plan covers medical bills if you are hospitalized while traveling internationally. Do you have medical evacuation coverage for emergency medical transportation, and trip cancellation insurance in case you miss your flight due to a medical emergency? In any case, be sure to have a backup plan to pay for emergency care if needed in the event that the medical facility you visit will not work with your health insurance provider.
3. Bring your own pharmacy. Travel with basic over-the-counter medications and a small first aid kit, because there is no guarantee that you’ll find a pharmacy around the corner. Pain relievers, medications to control a fever, antacids, allergy medicine, antibiotic ointment, eye drops, decongestants, cold medicine, and yeast infection treatments are just a few items we take for granted that can be obtained easily at drug stores at home. Bring any necessary travel medications with you, such as malaria prophylaxis and traveler’s diarrhea treatment. Do not assume you will be able to source these medications in other countries. Any medications purchased abroad may not be subject to the same manufacturing standards and quality control you expect at home. If you take a prescription medication, be sure to bring double the amount that you need in case travel plans are delayed.
4. Be familiar with health and security concerns relevant to the location. There are general health advisories, health and security risk assessments and food and water safety precautions specific to different regions. Your travel medical provider should be able to review any individual health concerns specific to you and your medical history and your itinerary. Be sure you have the necessary information to prevent health and safety risks associated with your particular travel itinerary. Global Rescue members have access to GRID, our online intelligence platform, for detailed destination reports and up-to-the-minute information on global medical and security events.
5. Never travel without a Global Rescue membership. Medical and security emergencies can threaten your life at the worst possible time, when you’re away from home, far from friends, family and support. Global Rescue medical membership includes medical evacuations from anywhere in the world to your choice of home-country hospital, any time you are more than 160 miles from home and need hospitalization.
Global Rescue excels at Field Rescues for medical emergencies requiring hospitalization in the event you are in a remote location and cannot get to a hospital on your own. Membership includes 24/7 medical advice and support from world class physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine. By upgrading to include security, members protect themselves from non-medical emergencies. If Global Rescue determines that a member is in danger of imminent grievous bodily harm, we provide security and transport services, up to $100,000, from their location to the member’s home country. We strongly recommend a security upgrade whenever there is risk of natural disaster, civil unrest, terrorism, or war."
Source: Excerpt from 5 Tips for Staying Healthy and Safe during Holiday Travels, RescueWire, December 22, 2014.